Phil Reynolds, managing director at Newable Lending, explains the benefits of physical branches for the business finance community
IN A world of bank branch closures and an increasing number of digital lending platforms, one would be forgiven for thinking that face-to-face meetings are a thing of the past when it comes to accessing finance.
However, Newable Lending has stepped in and bridged the gap, providing its customers with the benefits of a high-tech online solution combined with the attractions of a physical space where they can meet the team and members of the local business community. Newable is uniquely placed to support businesses with a range of services across four key pillars: lending, private investing, advice and property.
As one of the Department for International Trade’s leading delivery partners, Newable also helps businesses start exporting for the first time or to grow their exporting activity into new markets. Its Growth Services team helps companies access support from Innovate UK and benefit from connections through the Enterprise Europe Network.
Adding another string to its bow, the peer-to-peer business lender has launched the UK’s first Business Exchange on Epsom High Street, Surrey, where businesses looking for funding can meet with Newable Lending’s team and mentors. The longer-term plan is to set up more Business Exchanges across the country, providing investors and businesses alike with a human dimension to finance.
“What we bring to the market is quite different to other lenders due to the ‘high-touch’ mentoring element,” explains Phil Reynolds, managing director at Newable Lending.
“The Business Exchanges act as beacons for the local business community. Businesses looking for funding can come down and get advice on the products on offer, or speak to their mentors face to face.
“From the investor’s perspective, I think there’s a level of comfort that we have these physical locations so that we’re not an internet-only platform. We have these roots that are going to be embedded in the community for potential investors to learn more about Newable Lending and see the services that we offer to businesses.”
Businesses looking to obtain a P2P loan through Newable Lending must have been trading for at least two years and have a property that is not their home to put up as security. Interest rates range between four per cent and 8.5 per cent per annum.
Investors could receive returns ranging between 2.75 per cent and 6.25 per cent per annum*, with a minimum investment of £10,000. Loans start at £150,000 and terms range between three and five years. Newable Lending has decades of experience providing mentoring and finance to businesses, prior to launching its P2P offering. Borrowers can access Newable Lending’s mentors for advice on everything from finding an accountant to marketing and scaling up.
“We operated a lending business with mentoring for quite some time, so we’ve had time to hone our proposition,” says Reynolds. “We believe we know what the most frequently asked questions are, what borrowers typically need money for and where they need the most support.”
Going forward, it’s exciting times for Newable Lending as it pioneers its Business Exchange model. In the next three to five years it plans to open 10-20 Business Exchanges across the UK, aiming to lend out more than £500m to businesses.
Demand will dictate where the next branches are set up, but Reynolds predicts that the company will look outside of London to regional hubs.
“We’re aiming to make the Business Exchanges into hubs for local businesses,” he says. “Our aspiration is to host numerous events, including ‘speed dating’ for businesses to meet accountants and lawyers, or for people to meet local firms.
“I believe the concept of P2P lending is great from a local angle – for businesses in the community looking to grow and for people who are interested in accessing those loans – and hopefully our Business Exchanges will help connect these two groups.”
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Your capital at risk if you invest. Investments are illiquid (meaning the inability to sell assets quickly or without substantial loss in value). Newable Lending for Growth Limited is not covered by Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
*Projected return is an estimate of what investors could earn after fees but before bad debt and taxes.
Newable Lending for Growth Limited is an Appointed Representative of Resolution Compliance Limited. Resolution Compliance Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 574048).