Updated: Jun 18, 2014
Today we are announcing an exciting new partnership with Santander UK, which will give thousands of small British businesses greater access to finance.
The referral arrangement will see Santander proactively refer small business customers looking for a loan to Funding Circle, where we are better placed to help. These referrals will take place on Santander’s website and in letters to customers.
This is the first partnership between a UK bank and an online finance provider, and forms part of our commitment to address the challenges of access to finance for creditworthy small businesses. We believe that by working in partnership, we can help more small businesses grow, and bring investors more lending opportunities on the marketplace.
As part of this relationship, we will also signpost borrowers to Santander where they require day-to-day relationship banking support or other services that the bank can offer, such as international banking expertise, cash management and support for growth.
We have mentioned previously that the Government is currently consulting on whether it should be mandatory for banks to refer small businesses to other non-bank providers. It’s great to receive the backing of the Business Secretary Vince Cable this morning in the Financial Times.
We believe that’s today’s move sets a precedent for how retail banks and alternative finance providers can work collaboratively to deliver an efficient, transparent and honest service.
Samir Desai, our CEO and co-founder said: “This partnership recognises our role as the only marketplace that caters for, and is dedicated to, small businesses. In Santander we have found a fellow challenger brand that shares our commitment to putting small business customers’ needs first. They have created a blueprint for other banks to follow.”
Industry research by alternativebusinessfunding.co.uk estimates that 250,000 businesses a year could benefit from being referred to alternative finance providers by banks.
Santander UK’s CEO, Ana Botin, commented on today’s news by saying: “SMEs need access to multiple sources of finance, and Santander’s partnership with Funding Circle is a good example of how traditional and alternative finance can work together to help the nation’s SMEs prosper. Peer-to-peer financing is also a useful way to introduce people to the concept of investing in entrepreneurs; an important element in a healthy enterprise economy.”
If you have any questions about today’s news, then please get in touch or join in on the forum.