John Davies

Just Loans Group backs Bank Referral Scheme review

SME lender Just Loans Group has welcomed a government review of the Bank Referral Scheme.

Professor Russel Griggs has been appointed to gauge the effectiveness of the online portal offering businesses an alternative to mainstream lenders following its launch in November 2016.

The move is a consequence of concerns that the scheme has not generated the anticipated volume of referrals.

“Those businesses who have had their borrowing request declined have, through the scheme, another route to access the funding they need,” said John Davies, chief executive of the Just Loans Group (pictured above).

“But at Just Loans, we have not seen the volume of referrals we expected since the scheme started, which suggests to us that something is not working as it was intended.

“The appointment of Professor Griggs is a welcome move in trying to unearth any blockages, whether these are in the referring banks, the managers of the online portals or with the businesses themselves.”

The announcement comes less than a week after members of the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association celebrated passing £8bn of cumulative lending on the back of a strong first quarter.

“As businesses have started to look for other sources of funding beyond the traditional banks, the alternative lenders are becoming more and more important,” added John, who also chairs the Association of Alternative Business Finance.

“…It is important that those enterprises who are either unsuccessful in winning support from their mainstream bank, or are looking for a complementary offering, are aware of the alternative options available to them.

“We hope that this review by Professor Griggs will shine a light on the areas of the scheme that are not working, and will lead to removing the barriers to its effectiveness.”

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