Rob Straathof, CEO at Liberis

Smaller businesses are being forced to adopt alternative financing and accounting solutions thanks to the increased risk aversion of traditional banks, a finance specialist has said.
“Our recent research has shown that nearly 30% of UK SMEs require funding simply to stay afloat, yet a large majority find accessing this finance a major challenge,” said Rob Straathof, CEO at alternative finance provider Liberis. “One reason being is there is a reluctance among UK banks to invest in risk and innovation, indicating a demand for alternative financing options.”
New fintech platforms, said Straathof, are becoming an increasingly popular option for small-businesses in need of a cash boost, especially in comparison to larger lenders: “Using smart, integrated processing, fintech is providing smaller businesses with access to innovative accounting software, financial management, insurance and business evaluation services,” he claimed.
He also said that Open Banking is opening new doors to smaller entrepreneurs: “Using integrated portals, it provides a safe and secure way for providers access to financial information quickly and efficiently,” he added. “It can provide small businesses with increased transparency, smoother form-filling, fairer credit decisions and greater growth opportunities.”
The small business funding gap is an area that needs to be rectified, as limiting access to finance can not only hinder small business growth but can negatively impact wider economic progress as a result too, concluded Straathof: “There is a need for ease of application and smoother processing as the highest priority and many alternative finance options provide just this – and as a result are increasing in appeal. As leaders in the alternative finance space, we are keen to shine a spotlight on this issue to help drive additional support.”

by Guy Matthews
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