Who do SMEs ask for financial advice?

Author Madhvi Mavadiya

Date published October 21, 2015 Categories

New research from the Business Banking Insight (BBI) has found that younger small to medium sized businesses tend to stray away from older companies when seeking out finance and information when attempting to expand the business.

BBI reported that “an ICM poll of 5,000 SMEs across the UK found that 42% of businesses formed after 2010 would consider approaching acquaintances and relations for business investment and 64% of these businesses would turn to their friends and family for guidance around finance.

This compares to just 22% of businesses created pre-2000 who would think about using this type of finance and 45% who would ask their nearest and dearest for information.”

Alongside this, 36% of companies that were created after 2010 said that they would consider peer-to-peer lending in order to expand their business, in comparison to the 18% who had the same attitude but were from firms that were created before the year 2000.

Federation of Small Businesses Policy Director and spokesperson for the BBI, Mike Cherry, explained that the BBI can help the business get the right advice. “Accessing the best product for your business is critical to growth and future investment,” Cherry said.

John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce and spokesperson for the BBI, also felt the same way. “The divide between older and newer companies in attitudes to seeking business finance and guidance highlights a change in approach by businesses’ to driving growth. The finance needed to drive growth can and should be tailored to the specific needs of each business, so it’s vital that traditional lenders and advisers adapt to meet the changing demands of SMEs,” Longworth highlighted.

Non-banks spark competition in lending and supply chain finance

Author Graham Buck

Date published August 26, 2015

Banks believe that new digitally enabled supplier finance networks and alternative lenders pose a significant threat to every part of the commercial lending business, claims Misys.

A survey by the financial software company took answers from 114 respondents within 77 banks across the US, Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Asia Pacific (APAC). They were asked to share their views on the threats and opportunities created by digital disruption in commercial lending, trade and supply chain finance (SCF).

Among the responses from the survey respondents, 68% cited small business lending as being under high threat and 61% saw competitive pressure in SCF product lines, such as receivables finance and factoring.

Eighty-four per cent said pressure on pricing of loan products as a challenge, while 75% feared loss of market share to alternative lenders.

According to Misys, banks have been under pressure since the 2008 financial crisis, as demand for credit from small and medium sized businesses has risen, but increased regulation and scrutiny of balance sheets has diminished lending capacity.

It says that the rise of alternative financiers, peer-to-peer (P2P) lenders and new supplier networks in the market is leading banks to re-evaluate their operating models and embrace partnership, new technology and more agile approaches to lending and trade finance.

A report issued by Grant Thornton found that in 2014, 60% of businesses in the mid-market were already using non-bank lending as a source of finance, showing that “it is no longer a fringe activity, but one that is widely considered normal by corporates,” notes Misys.

Despite these challenges, the Misys survey results show that banks also believe that a strategic partnership with non-bank players can be a strong driver in growing their trade finance business, with 68% citing that they see this as a big opportunity.

The banking sector understands that it must now react to remain at the centre of corporate credit requirements,” said David Hennah, head of trade finance at Misys. “Our survey respondents believe they can leverage emerging supplier networks and the financial technology vendors that can provide digital enablement and connectivity across trade and lending to grow and retain clients.

We have seen an increasing focus on strategic technology partnership. Clients want to build trade and lending platforms that help overcome their technical debt in digitally enabled corporate banking and build a foundation to dictate future innovation.

Innovation is outpacing the limitations of legacy bank frameworks. By thinking differently and embracing change banks, in partnership with their vendors, can define new value propositions along clients’ financial supply chains.”