Michael Biemann

Is applying for a business loan in 2019 still perceived as being a hassle?

Despite the understandable uncertainty created by Brexit, the last thing you want to see is UK small businesses putting their growth plans on hold.

But that’s precisely what’s happening across the board, according to an insightful government small business survey published at the end of June. It revealed that, overall, the number of SMEs seeking external finance had declined in recent years.

Elsewhere, the Bank of England’s May Money and Credit report revealed that lending from banks to SMEs grew by a paltry 0.4% in the 12 months to the end of May 2019, compared with the 6.2% growth rate enjoyed by large businesses.

The hassle factor

The small business survey revealed that one major reason why SMEs were shelving their finance applications was because they felt the whole process would take too long and simply prove to be too much hassle.

This is an absurdity in the digital age.

Removing the hassle factor

Fortunately, the retreat of high street banks from the small business lending space has opened up a vacuum that digitally native alternative lenders are rushing to fill.

Their systems and processes are ultra-streamlined, as commercial as they are agile and built for the modern age in a way that those of the high street banks, still fundamentally analogue, simply are not.

Fully online application and underwriting processes are taking the hassle factor out of applying for loans, making them not just intuitive, but collapsing completion times dramatically — in many cases by a half.

As a digitally native lender ourselves, we were able to issue a £250,000 secured business loan for a client seeking to buy out their business partner in just 10 days a few weeks ago, proving that you don’t have to jump through hoops and complete endless paperwork to secure finance for your clients.

It’s 2019, not 1919, and brokers should no longer be expected to put up with protracted application times, but instead demand rapid ones.

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