Bluehone Secured Assets, which lends to small-cap companies, said yesterday that it plans to raise £40m by floating on Aim in order to build its loan book. It aims to make secured five-year loans of £1m-£3m to 15-20 companies in the next year.
And an online lending broker, MarketInvoice, recently reported a 10,000 per cent increase in its lending volumes to small and medium-sized businesses in its first year of trading.
The website saw investors lend £20,000 per day to firms through its auction system in February last year, versus £2m last month.
It comes less a week after Bank of England policymaker Andy Haldane suggested that online platforms could help spark a big expansion in non-bank capital markets for small firms, an issue examined recently by a government taskforce led by former Legal & General chief Tim Breedon.
However, at the smaller end of the market, data from non-profits that make loans to micro-businesses are becoming increasingly reliant on banks.