They “talk the talk” but do they “walk the walk”?

by Colin Sanders

Fast, reliable, friendly. Sound familiar? Phrases the lending market uses all too often. But are they? Looking at some of the rates of interest, they’ll certainly be friendly, possibly even fast, but reliable? flexible? Innovative? Not so sure about that.The alternative lending market has seen an explosion in growth in recent years.

A report in December 2017 by the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance, found that in 2016, business funding transacted for start-ups and small and medium-sized firms grew by 50 per cent to £3.3bn, from £2.2bn in 2015. This is believed to now be in excess of £5bn.

Why? The failings of the big banks to support this particular market is well advertised. Lloyds Bank is one example and recently highlighted in the CICM (Chartered Institute of Credit Management) magazine where they reported their intent to withdraw from this sector of industry. But they are not the only one.

Since the financial crisis in 2008/9, the big banks in the UK have (despite cajoling and pressure from HM Government) failed, constantly to rise to the challenge of supporting the SME market. This is why we have seen such an explosion in the number of players in the alternative funding sector.

Not a bad thing and playing a big part in helping “SME ‘s source funds for either cash flow shortages or expansion and investment.

The growth will continue unabated, that’s for certain, with no sign that the big banks will suddenly reverse their decision to lend to the SME market. Again, I would reiterate, no bad thing but which one?

Like anything in business, research is key in coming to the right decision. “It’s a minefield out there” and choosing the right lender requires you to have all the boxes ticked. Service is a key requirement in choosing the right provider and someone who knows your business or at the least, wants to know your business.

Direct access to a qualified individual expert who can provide the right advice is key to enable you, the SME to get the best decision for you and not what the lender wants to guide you to. It’s in their best interest after all, as well as yours.

Where previously, alternative lenders were seen as the last chance saloon, these alternative sources are extremely competitive against the norm of the high street banks.

At Merchant Money we pride ourselves on ticking all those boxes and playing our part in helping UK businesses that could well fall by the wayside or have growth stymied without the financial support required.

Using powerful risk assessment technology and some good common sense, allows us to both “talk the talk and walk the walk”.

Want to know more? Then contact us on telephone number 0800 848 8480 or email,