Finance sites competing to run small firms’ loan referral system

Tim Wallace
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A PAIR of influential groups are competing for the go ahead to run the government’s new referral system for small business loan applications.

Chancellor George Osborne wants banks to refer rejected loan applications to other lenders, rather than turing small firms down flat.

The National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB) has set up a site for small firms to enter their details and finance needs, which are then sent to brokers to match with one of more than 100 high street and specialist lenders.

It hopes the Treasury will pick its site as a ready-made referrals system.

But a rival is also bidding for the role, focusing on the non-bank alternative lending sector.

The alternative business funding website wants to direct borrowers to lenders like crowdfunding and peer-to-peer sites, invoice finance firms, angel investors and loans from pension investments.

Both providers gave the Treasury their applications in a consultation which closed on Friday.