Investment - Articles - 2013 - The year alternative becomes mainstream

 Paul Brett, head of business development at personal asset lender borro, shares his outlook for the UK's alternative lending market in 2013:

 "While last year saw obstacles aplenty for those needing to access finance, there were some encouraging signs showing funding for business is now well and truly on the radar of policymakers. The Funding for Lending scheme came into play for example, and the Business Bank is on the horizon, however, there is still far to go. There has been little evidence as yet that these initiatives are working, with a distressingly high number of small business owners still being turned down for loans.

 "We hope 2013 on the other hand will be a year of change, with more business lending schemes becoming available. Lending could be stimulated through a variety of channels, including startup and mentoring schemes. Accredited non-executive director schemes, where companies could look to find an experienced non-executive could also prove useful. The UK has also seen momentum building behind alternative lenders such as Zopa and Funding Circle, and this will continue in 2013. Banks will also up their game when it comes to offering other solutions for business lending and rightly so. I think this year we'll see factoring and invoice discounting, bridging finances and joint venture finance all coming to the fore too.

 "At borro, we will continue to challenge the industry from sidelining sources of finance that have previously been seen as alternative, especially for businesses in need. We believe non-bank lending is a mainstream source of finance, particularly for SMEs and we know from speaking to our clients in the small business world that they don't see it as alternative at all. Not only are these types of loans the only solution as traditional lending from banks has dried up, but they offer a rapid and efficient service so crucial to businesses."

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