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Trade Ledger, Equifax bid for fund to transform SME credit scoring

Global banking platform Trade Ledger and consumer and business insights expert Equifax have extended their partnership to make a bid for the BCR Capability and Innovation Fund (CIF) – aiming to create a portable credit file solution for small to medium enterprises.

Together, Trade Ledger and Equifax are bidding for the CIF, part of the RBS Alternative Remedies Package which is designed to improve the financial products and services available to SMEs in the UK.

The joint solution creates a potable SME credit file solution, utilising financial technologies such as Open Banking and Open Accounting to allow the companies to build their credit profile. It also has the capability of being used to expedite and improve the entire credit application process for lenders and SMEs alike.

If successful, the venture will be the first time a dedicated lending automation platform and commercial credit bureau have worked together on a fully interoperable credit passport for SMEs.

Martin McCann, Co-Founder and Chief Executive of Trade Ledger

Martin McCann, Co-Founder and Chief Executive of Trade Ledger

Martin McCann, Co-Founder and Chief Executive of Trade Ledger, commented: “Now more than ever, the UK’s smaller businesses need us to be on their side, so we’re delighted to partner with Equifax on the concept for a service which, if we are successful, will deliver tangible benefits to hundreds of thousands of hard-pressed SMEs and lenders simultaneously.

“By leveraging our unique open platform for SME finance and unique commercial data assets from Equifax, we have the chance to play a significant role in driving the UK’s recovery from Covid-19, as well as building a more sustainable and competitive financial services sector after.”

Trade Ledger, which provides advanced loan origination and servicing technology, has been building its solutions to securely aggregate, store and transform any type of structured data directly from common SME applications to facilitate better digital credit products. It also combines transaction data from banks and credit history data from credit bureaus, such as Equifax, to help better underwrite risk.

Also commenting, Jayadeep Nair, Chief Product & Marketing Officer at Equifax UK, said: “We’re acutely aware of the challenges faced by UK SMEs as a result of Covid-19, and want to play our part in supporting their recovery. Using technology such as APIs and Open Banking, plus a combination of traditional and new data sources, we can build a better and more accurate picture of an SME’s financial health in real time.

“For SMEs, having a way of showing their stability and creditworthiness based upon the most current data is crucial to accessing finance as they look to rebuild after the pandemic.”

Equifax delivers credit reports, scores and credit limits to the commercial lending market.

As part of the new collaboration, Equifax have also committed to joining Trade Ledger’s SME FinTech taskforce, formed to establish a new business credit origination and underwriting infrastructure for lenders in the wake of Covid-19. Current taskforce members include leading UK FinTechs Nimbla, Wiserfunding & Northrow.

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