11th March 2014

Today the Office of Fair Trading published an update on its ongoing review of banking for SMEs in the UK.

The assessment began in June 2013 and in December Anil Stocker, CEO of MarketInvoice, consulted with the OFT team to give a different perspective, that of the emerging finance provider.

Business Secretary Vince Cable summed up the OFT’s findings, saying, “SMEs feel they have too few lending options other than the big four banks, which is not healthy for the economy.”

In 2013, Vince Cable’s British Business Bank committed £40 million as an investor on the MarketInvoice platform over the course of a year.

In response to the OFT’s report, MarketInvoice has endorsed measures to increase awareness of alternative finance options. Their online platform has now seen over £135 million worth of invoices traded, helping hundreds of SMEs, although with more awareness the potential reach is much bigger.

Anil Stocker, CEO of MarketInvoice, said:

“The biggest barrier for SMEs at the moment is access to finance, and many are still not aware of the range of alternatives to bank funding. More needs to be done to support education and raise awareness of online platforms like our own.”
Unlike traditional banks, MarketInvoice’s online platform can provide finance for new clients in a matter of hours. It uses advanced data and technology algorithms to speed up the credit screening process and to connect investors and SMEs.

Today also sees seven of the biggest alternative finance providers, including MarketInvoice, grouping together to launch a new initiative and online portal, AlternativeBusinessFunding.co.uk.

The new site hopes to become a ‘one-stop shop’ for banks and introducers to refer businesses who don’t meet their own strict criteria.

Anil Stocker said:

“It’s a common misconception that we have a adversarial relationship with the traditional banks. In fact, we often have to work with them in order to provide the best finance options for our clients, complementing their loans and overdrafts with a selective invoice trading facility as and when SMEs need the extra finance.”