NatWest has set up a panel of alternative lenders to which business customers can turn if they fail to qualify for a bank loan.
The panel, called ‘Capital Connections’, builds on NatWest’s existing referral partnerships with P2P marketplace platforms Assetz Capital and Funding Circle to bring three new alternative finance providers into the fold, including small business financier iwoca, charity funder RBS Social and Community Capital, and Together, a property secured lender.
Research shows that 71% of businesses seeking finance only ask one lender and, if rejected for finance, many simply give up on investment rather than seek alternative options.
NatWest is rolling out the scheme nationwide following a pilot which introduced the wider panel of all five lenders to commercial customers with a turnover of up to £25m in South West England, Wales and Scotland earlier this year.
Alison Rose, CEO of commercial and private banking at NatWest, says: “NatWest is the biggest supporter of British businesses and we are committed to improving the support we can offer, including enhancing access to the borrowing which is essential for jobs and economic growth, whether they are existing customers of NatWest or not.”
The opening of the panel comes as the UK Government unveils a programme that will see nine of the UK’s biggest banks pass on the details of small businesses they have rejected for finance to three platforms - Funding Xchange, Business Finance Compared and Funding Options, who will then share the data with alternative finance providers.
Last year 324,000 small and medium sized business sought a loan or overdraft, 26% of these were initially declined by their bank and only 3% of those declined were referred to other sources of help.