Thursday 3 December 2015 5:31 pm

Crowdfunding platform Funding Circle is the third biggest lender for small businesses in the UK behind only RBS and Lloyds

Proving the power of crowdfunding, the third biggest lender to UK small businesses isn't a bank or building society but peer-to-peer lending platform Funding Circle.

In the three months from July to September, RBS lent £290m to SMEs, Lloyds lent £275m, and Funding Circle came third, having lent £91.5m, ahead of Aldermore, Yorkshire Building Society and Shawbrook.

In the third quarter of 2015, £704m was lent to small businesses through the FLS, which has 36 banks and building societies participating, according to Bank of England data. Crowdfunding platforms raised £251m of investment in the same period, according to data from the Peer to Peer Finance Association.

James Meekings, co-founder and UK managing director of Funding Circle, said:

Whilst the Funding for Lending scheme has helped, take up has not driven substantial increases in net lending because it doesn't solve the cumbersome bank lending process. New forms of innovative finance are growing exponentially however, as they offer a fundamentally better all-round experience to small businesses.