Designation criteria for Credit Reference Agencies and Finance Platforms

Establishing Finance Platforms to increase financing opportunities for smaller businesses
If a small business is rejected for finance by a bank, the bank is obliged to offer the business a referral to an online finance platform. These platforms will give alternative finance providers the opportunity to offer viable businesses the finance they need.

The second round of designation was opened on 1 July by HM Treasury, and has now closed. The British Business Bank ran the initial stage of the process, and undertook the necessary due diligence on applicants before providing advice to HM Treasury.

Download the Expression of Interest document for finance platforms

Pre-Submission Engagement

Respondents were invited to direct questions in advance of submitting a response. The questions (posted anonymously) and answers in relation to the policy, objectives or information schedules are available on this page to ensure that all respondents have access to the same information about the process.

Download the Q&A for the second designation round

Download the final Q&A for the first designation round

Sharing of SME data with Credit Reference Agencies
The control of credit information by existing providers is a barrier to entry in the market for lending to smaller businesses.

Opening up access to credit data held by the big banks will increase the reliability of credit scores, enabling alternative finance providers to make better-informed decisions about finance provision to smaller businesses.

The Government announced at the 2015 Autumn Statement that it planned to designate Experian, Equifax and Creditsafe under the Small and Medium Sized Business (Credit Information) Regulations 2015.

On 1 July, HM Treasury opened the second round designation process for Credit Reference Agencies – this process is also now closed. The British Business Bank ran the initial stage of the process, and undertook the necessary due diligence on applicants before providing advice to HM Treasury.

Download the Call for Information document for credit reference agencies

Pre-Submission Engagement

Respondents were invited to direct questions in advance of submitting a response. Questions (posted anonymously) and answers in relation to the policy, objectives or information schedules are available to all respondents on this page to ensure that all respondents have access to the same information about the process.

Download the Q&A for the second designation round

Download the final Q&A for the first designation round