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News - 7 January 2014

Plans announced requiring banks to share data with alternative finance providers.

In the 2013 Budget, the government announced at the Autumn Statement that it would consult on proposals to require banks to share information on their SME customers with other lenders through Credit Reference Agencies (CRA) to make it easier for alternative finance providers to check the creditworthiness of small firms

The work was to be done in conjunction with the Bank of England, the Office of Fair Trading, the Financial Conduct Authority, and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and industry to investigate the available options.

The consultation on these proposals is open until 21st February 2014.

The problem of a lack of available credit data has been highlighted by a range of informed comment on SME access to finance. The Office of Fair Trading, the Competition Commission and the ‘Boosting Finance Options For Business’ Review have all highlighted a lack of information about the creditworthiness of SMEs as a potential barrier to competition in the SME banking market and SME lending in particular.

Tonmoy Kumar, Manager of the Accounts Department of ABDS comments:
“When assessing the creditworthiness of small businesses with a view to making a loan, an important source of information for the lender is a business’ past financial performance. This information is, however, often held by the bank that provides the business’ current account and is not widely shared. Challenger banks and alternative finance providers therefore do not have access to the same level of information as the bank with which the small business already has a relationship. As an established firm of accountants, we at ABDS can also help firms with business plans, cash-flow projections, management accounts and business strategy. ”

For those who are looking for a more personal approach on a range of issues, contact us at ABDS.

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net

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