Your lending has boosted the UK economy by £2.7 billion

Since Funding Circle launched six years ago, investors including individuals, the government-backed British Business Bank, and a range of financial institutions have helped more than 15,000 UK small businesses access finance. Your lending has helped to create jobs, build homes and support regions that have faced economic hardship in the wake of the last financial crisis.

This was the conclusion of independent research published today by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR). The report reveals that your lending has supported the creation of 40,000 new jobs, whilst boosting the UK economy by an estimated £2.7 billion since 2010.

You can download the full report here, view our infographic, and read more about the key findings below.

Small business, big impact

Since 2010, your lending has supported the creation of approximately 40,000 jobs across the country. Not only do the businesses you lend to benefit, but companies along those businesses’ supply chains do too. The jobs you help to create also increase spending power in that area, making a further contribution to the economy. CEBR estimates that the total economic activity generated by investors lending through Funding Circle has added £2.7 billion to the UK economy1 over the past six years.

Over three fifths (61%) of borrowers surveyed as part of the report saw their revenue increase as a result of taking a loan with Funding Circle, while nearly half (47%) reported a rise in profits.

Why do borrowers choose Funding Circle?

The report finds that loans facilitated by direct lending platforms like Funding Circle now make up 6% of all new small business loans granted by platforms and the main high street banks.2

Creditworthy businesses are attracted to Funding Circle by the speed and simplicity of the application process. Nearly three quarters (72%) of borrowers found the experience of obtaining a loan with Funding Circle faster than other providers they considered. This helps to explain why 77% initially shopped around for finance, but 94% would come back to Funding Circle first in future.

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Your lending is also helping a fifth more creditworthy businesses to access finance than before, where they have previously been underserved by traditional sources of finance. 21% of businesses surveyed believe they wouldn’t have been able to access finance without Funding Circle. CEBR considers this to be due to restrictions in the wider lending environment, with many banks having exposure limits on the amount they can lend to a particular region or sector for example. These businesses are creditworthy – Funding Circle has a robust assessment process which uses a balanced set of risk tools to create a full picture of the borrower’s financial health. You can read more about how we assess loans here.

Supporting businesses in the North

Funding Circle loans are also popular among businesses in parts of the UK that have faced greater economic challenges, such as the North. The North East has the country’s second lowest Gross Value Added, which is a an indicator of economic performance and measures the value of goods and services produced in an area.

Partially due to this economic underperformance, businesses in the North East make up just 3% of all businesses in the country. However, 10% of your lending goes to businesses in the North East helping to balance economic growth across the country.

Unleashing the potential of small housebuilders

CEBR estimates that the UK currently faces a cumulative shortfall of 264,000 homes, with large developers unable to bridge this gap on their own.

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Small developers, like those you lend to through Funding Circle, have continued to struggle to access finance through traditional channels since 2008. Since extending the loans we offer to include property finance, we have been able to better-serve these small developers. CEBR estimates that since 2014, your lending has helped to build approximately 2,200 homes across the country, providing a potential solution to the UK housing crisis.

Conclusion

The research published today by the CEBR highlights the role Funding Circle investors have played in supporting economic growth in the UK. Small business isn’t small – it accounts for half of the UK’s GDP3 and 60% of private sector employment4. Their success, and your lending, is vital to our economy.

We hope you found this piece useful, and if you have any questions please join the conversation over on our forum or get in touch.

Enjoy lending,

The Funding Circle team

1 The CEBR estimates that the direct, indirect and induced GVA impact of Funding Circle loans is £2.7 billion. GVA, or gross value added, measures the economic contribution made by a particular economic unit such as a region, business or industry. It is used as one of the factors when calculating gross domestic product (GDP) and is a measure of the relative economic importance of a business.

2 Direct loans accounted for 6% of all new loans granted by the main high street banks and direct lending platforms to small and medium sized businesses in the last quarter of 2015 – up from 3% for the same period in 2014 – according to data from the British Bankers Association and the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association.

3 Source: http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN06078/SN06078.pdf

4 Source: http://www.fsb.org.uk/media-centre/small-business-statistics

 

Jack Pritchett

Senior Communications Manager