THE BANK of England said it will consult on developing a data platform that will store financial information from small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and help them access funding.
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said the traditional metrics for valuing small firms when applying for loans were “increasingly intangible” and said a national SME financial platform that combines Open Banking and company data could help plug the £22bn funding gap.
It would link public sources such as data from the Passport Office and HMRC so lenders can feel more confident about providing finance.
“SMEs must be able to identify the data relevant to their businesses, incorporate it into their individual credit files, and easily share these files with potential providers of finance through a national SME financing platform,” he said in a speech at Mansion House on Thursday night.
“An open platform for SME lending would enable Open Banking and empower SMEs.
“It would help avoid lock-in on existing platforms and enable providers of finance to compete for SME lending, helping to broaden the products available to companies and offer more competitive rates, making access to finance quick, easy and cost effective.
“It is not for the Bank of England to build this platform but we can help lay some of groundwork.”