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SME attitude to big four banks underscores alternative finance status

A new YouGov survey shows that only 10% of SMEs believe that the big four banks offer better services that those from alternative finance providers.

These data underline the extent to which the small business finance landscape has been redrawn in recent years. Traditional lenders may still dominate the SME finance market but awareness of alternative finance providers, such as challenger banks, and non-bank finance services, including invoice finance, peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding, continues to grow.

More data from the survey, which shows that almost half of SMEs see no difference between the big four high-street banks, further illustrate the change in attitude behind the growth of the alternative finance sector.

New figures from the Asset Based Finance Association outline the extent of this expansion, while the growth of the Alternative Business Finance (ABF) peer-to-peer lending service further underlines the momentum behind this revolution in SME finance provision. The ABF has announced that rebuildingsociety.co.uk has become the 12th funder to join the portal, which is set to become a key point of referral for banks that reject SME funding applications.

The growth of the alternative finance sector, whose products are being increasingly used both independently and in conjunction with services from traditional lenders, comes at a critical time. Latest figures from the Federation of Small Businesses shows SME confidence at record levels and it is clear that the likes of invoice finance and peer-to-peer lending have a key role to play in turning this optimism into real growth.

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