RATESETTER, Funding Circle and Assetz Capital are some of the peer-to-peer lenders that have been included on the Federation of Small Businesses’ (FSB) new business funding platform.
The FSB Funding Platform, developed by Finpoint, matches potential borrowers with more than 100 lenders through the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Guy Bridge, managing director of Finpoint, said unlike competitor platforms which restrict their lender panel, the FSB Funding Platform is “whole of market”.
“We’re not limiting who borrowers can approach. As long as lenders meet certain Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)-linked criteria, they can join the platform,” he said.
Bridge said the platform will offer access to a wide range of funding options, from peer-to-peer lending through to niche areas like pension-led funding.
“It’s important for the SME to have that choice,” he said.
Potential borrowers using the platform enter information on their company, how much they want to borrow, and what the loan is intended for. This is released to lenders on an anonymised basis and the borrower can than decide which of the interested lenders they want to speak to.
Bridge said Finpoint intends to develop the platform so that it offers a loan comparison service. He said this is not currently possible because some lenders are not open about their terms and conditions.
Lenders do not pay to be on the platform – instead, they pay a fee once the transaction has completed.
The platform, which is regulated by the FCA, aims to further the success of the UK’s small business and self-employed communities.
The FSB Small Business Index for the fourth quarter of 2017, published last week, showed only the second negative reading recorded in the last five years.