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Don’t trust banks to bail out SMEs post Brexit, warns lending expert

Angus Dent, CEO at P2P lending platform ArchOver

Following the news that banks including Barclays are launching Brexit clinics to help SMEs prepare for the transition, a senior executive in the alternative lending space has warned against too much reliance on traditional channels.
Angus Dent, CEO at P2P lending platform ArchOver has advised small businesses not to go blinkered to the banks, but look for flexible finance instead.
“What a resounding compliment to the negotiating powers of our Government it is that the FSB and CBI’s best advice at this point is ‘find a loan to shore yourself up while someone sorts out this mess’,” said Dent. “At least they have the good sense to advise businesses not to go blinkered to the banks. If past experience is anything to go by, businesses have much more confidence in banks than they should – too many loans are either rejected or left unfulfilled.”
Dent said that experience should indicate that UK businesses are going to have to make their own luck after Brexit: “This isn’t going to be a drift down the river – it’s going to be white-water rapids,” he warned. “That means companies need flexible, supportive financiers – not the first words you’d associate with the high street gorillas. They need to do their research and seek out funding that will treat them for what they are – agile, fast-moving and growing. They need to be treated as individuals, with their own challenges and obstacles to tackle. And they need to be able to rely on their financier to see the bigger picture, rather than just that month’s balance sheet. Let’s hope the ‘Brexit clinics’ are pragmatic. Businesses certainly need to be – now’s the time for them to broaden their horizons and make sure their finance will stay in the boat with them through Brexit.”

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