This week saw the Commercial Finance show at the NEC in Birmingham, a chance for lenders to showcase their facilities. Three of the big four High St banks were represented with one utilising a double decker bus for its stand, in itself an interesting metaphor.
Many different types of funding, unheard of only a few years ago, were on show, including peer to peer, auction, supply chain, single debtor together with conventional invoice financiers. Add in all the commercial property exhibitors and a very busy, crowded show resulted giving brokers and other interested parties a real chance to further understand the role of alternative finance in todays commercial lending environment.
The number of funders continues to surprise, all of whom seem to be displaying a willingness to lend to businesses. The irony now is that a significant number of SME’s, thought to be over 50%, have no reported interest in raising finance, operating purely on self generated own resources.
According to the British Bankers Association bba.org.uk SME deposits exceed borrowing by around £54bn and this will have an affect on SME borrowing; it also is reflected in some of the innovative funding where some of these deposits will be used for the application of peer to peer facilities.
The number of funders may be rationalised in time if demand for finance by SME’s stays so far behind SME deposit levels, likewise with there no question as to the availability of finance for viable businesses some financiers must be struggling to fill their portfolios.
Overall business finance is readily available via a number of channels from the historically orthodox to the new, alternative sources. Selecting the right facility at the right time is the hard part and the area where a good, experienced, independent broker should be asked to help