Finance platform referrals policy

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Establishing Finance Platforms to increase financing opportunities for smaller businesses

Objective of Small and Medium Sized Business (Finance Platforms) Regulations 2015

From 1 November 2016, if a small business is rejected for finance by the big banks they are now obliged to offer the business a referral to a designated, online finance platform. These platforms give alternative finance providers the opportunity to offer viable businesses the finance they need.

Designated banks now need to offer any SME they decline for finance the opportunity for their details to be referred to a designated platform. These platforms will help match the SME with alternative finance provider that could provide them with the finance they need to grow and expand.

In 2015 we ran an expressions of interest and a request for proposals for finance platforms that wanted to be designated by HM Treasury to participate in this system. HM Treasury announced their intention to designate the first three platform providersBizfitech (business finance compared), Funding Options and Funding Xchange – at Budget 2016.

On 11 August 2017, HM Treasury re-opened the process for applications from Finance Platforms to apply for designation. The British Business Bank is, once again, running the initial stage of the process, and will be undertaking the necessary due diligence on applicants before providing advice to HM Treasury.

For reference, the documents for the process are available on our expressions of interest and request for proposals page

The Asset-based Finance Association (ABFA) has also published its own guide to the regulations and how they relate to invoice finance, which is downloadable from the ABFA website.

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