Yesterday’s news of the launch of the Banking Referral Scheme has prompted one of the UK’s Big Four banks to spotlight its referral policies. NatWest is part of the referral scheme, but has also set up its own alternative funding panel to offer its customers an alternative route in case they are turned down by the bank.
The Capital Connections panel is made up of five players: two established P2P lenders in Funding Circle and Assetz Capital; in addition, bank customers will also be able to apply to iwoca, which offers working capital financing to small businesses, RBS Social and Community Capital for social enterprise and charity lending, and Together, a property secured lender
The scheme allows customers to apply direct to any of the lenders, or rely on a referral from their relationship manager.
“Following a successful pilot, I’m delighted that we will now be able to formally refer all business and commercial scale businesses, across England and Wales, to an unrivalled panel of experts and professionals with a wide range of lending appetites,” said Alison Rose, CEO of Commercial and Private Banking at NatWest.
“NatWest is the biggest supporter of British businesses and we are committed to improving the support we can offer, including enhancing access to the borrowing which is essential for jobs and economic growth, whether they are existing customers of NatWest or not.”
Meanwhile James Meekings, who founded and now runs Funding Circle, welcomed the next step in the scheme, saying, “NatWest is leading the way at putting their customers first. Millions of pounds has already been lent to businesses through our referral partnership. By helping businesses access fast finance, the bank is able to retain or even win customers, which in turn helps the UK economy to grow. It’s a win, win, win.”