CHALLENGER bank TSB has partnered with business finance aggregator Funding Options to create a new business lending marketplace.
The new platform, which launches in May, will enable small business borrowers to compare financing options from TSB and other lenders.
Funding Options already operates an online business finance marketplace separately to the TSB partnership, which presents borrowers with a range of finance options including peer-to-peer lenders.
“The future for banks is to offer not just their own products to customers, but also the best the market has to offer,” said Conrad Ford, chief executive of Funding Options. “This is especially true in SME finance, where not every small business is right for bank lending, yet a thriving market of alternative lenders stands ready to deliver much-needed funding.”
Small businesses can often struggle to get the finance they need. TSB cited British Business Bank data that showed that around 50 per cent of first time start-up borrowers get rejected from the largest banks when applying for finance.
“We want to help small businesses to focus on what they love doing the most, which is running their business,” said TSB’s new commercial banking director Richard Davies. “That’s why we’re partnering with Funding Options to launch a straightforward and competitive lending marketplace that helps small businesses to borrow well – with access to a host of lending options that they can compare side-by-side to find the loan that best suits them.
“There is a huge funding gap for small businesses that exists in the UK today and it is stunting the growth of these firms and stopping them from investing to grow.”
TSB said on Wednesday that it is also planning to launch a new online business lending platform, allowing small firms to apply for finance and receive instant credit checks and approvals.