By: Kim Wales (NY) — 01/23/2015
As we eagerly await the Securities and Exchange Commission to release the final rules for Titles III and IV of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) in the United States that will open the gateway to equity and debt based crowd finance for start up and emerging growth companies.
A continued push to restore confidence, foster transparency and get money into the hands of the most needing enterprises is apparent in the United Kingdom with the Royal Bank of Scotland’s move to partner with online lending marketplaces, Funding Circle and Assetz Capital. On heels of Santander Bank implementing a similar strategy in 2014, these partnerships show an emergence of acceptance that bridges traditional finance with digital debt crowd finance, which is an enticing mechanism to financing small medium enterprises.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, said “It is great to see companies like Funding Circle forging a new partnership with RBS to ensure that small British companies have the best access to funding”.
Peer – to – Peer (P2P) has expanded rapidly after the financial crisis of 2008 as banks scaled back lending – leaving many smaller businesses without any access to finance.
Starting early February, RBS, the state-backed bank partnership with Funding Circle and Assetz Capital will enable it to refer some smaller businesses that it is unable to finance on to the P2P platforms. RBS said its aim is to “expand choice” for customers with loan applications that do not meet the bank’s criteria, by sign-posting them towards the P2P lenders, as well as other alternative sources of finance.
Working hand and glove with RBS, P2P platforms Funding Circle and Assetz Capital will extend bank clients located in Scotland and southwest of England that have been turned down for loans by the bank a new and nimble way to obtain debt financing for their businesses. Clients must indicate on their loan application that their information can be shared with an external third party in order for the bank to bridge the gap in helping the client obtain the financial resources. RBS is expecting to work with up to five such platforms in the coming months.
This new P2P partnerships, which do not involve fees being paid to the bank, follow plans from George Osborne, chancellor, to force banks that reject loan applications from small companies to refer them on to alternative sources of funding. The RBS referral scheme, which plans to expand nationally over the next three months, comes ahead of government plans to make referrals compulsory due to criticism that Britain’s largest banks are failing to provide sufficient credit to the sector. “A key part of our long-term economic plan is to ensure that British businesses are able to access the finance they need to grow and succeed,” said Osborne.
Kudos to the Chancellor, RBS and Santander Bank fostering the economic recovery needed during the most trying periods in history for some generations. The ecosystem to support a capital market that is multi-layered will need to be able to support competing and related interests globally as related to technology, banking facilities, communication, and distribution channels.
It is my belief that the markets that succeed in balancing public and private interests are the markets that will go the furthest in facilitating capital formation through shifting traditional paradigms. Efficient markets need to improve the allocation of capital and enhance long-term economic growth.