RBS funding referral scheme for SMEs set to launch » SMEInsider

RBS funding referral scheme for SMEs set to launch

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has partnered up with alternative lenders Funding Circle and Assetz Capital to help small businesses get access to finance.

Companies that are turned down for a loan by the high street bank because they are deemed too risky will instead be formally referred to the peer-to-peer lenders, to give them another chance at securing funding.

The project will be piloted in Scotland and South-West England next week. If successful, it will then be introduced across the rest of the UK over the next three months.

The partnership may help to rebuild public trust in the 80% taxpayer-owned bank, which recently admitted to mis-selling loans to SMEs under the Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme, and has also been accused of deliberately bankrupting small businesses for profit.

Alison Rose, RBS’ chief executive of commercial and private banking at RBS said that she was “delighted” by the partnership and that the bank is “dedicated to supporting SMEs, whether they are an existing customer of RBS or not.”

We are committed to doing the right thing for our customers by helping them access finance where we cannot help them within our current risk appetite,” she said.

Samir Desai, co-founder and chief executive of Funding Circle, said that the government-backed partnership signifies “a huge vote of confidence” in the peer-to-peer lending model, and recognises the company’s role as “the largest marketplace for unsecured and secured small business lending.” Funding Circle says that it is now the fourth largest lender to small businesses in the UK.

He added: “we look forward to working together to create thousands more opportunities for small businesses to access finance and grow.”