Loan referral scheme has disappointing start
The small business referral scheme has only helped 230 companies in its first nine months, the Times reports. The scheme obliges banks to pass loan applications from SMEs to alternative finance provides if they do not fit the banks’ criteria, but only 3% of the 8,100 businesses referred drew loans under the scheme, resulting in less than £4m of finance being provided. The Times points out that P2P lender Funding Circle lent £14m to 166 companies as a result of its own private referral deals with Santander and Royal Bank of Scotland. Mike Cherry, chairman of the FSB, said: "These are early days. We need to see the number of firms benefiting ... rising from the hundreds to the thousands."