Global credit information company Experian has
launched a new website which aims to help SMEs find asset and
invoice financing in the UK.
The company behind the Credit Expert website
has launched SME Finance Finder where businesses can search for
brokers and lenders offering finance options including asset
finance, invoice finance and commercial mortgages.
The website aims to match businesses with a broker or lender who
can provide the most suitable finance option by helping SMEs
understand their credit profile and could raise the profile of
alternative funding in the UK.
A statement from Experian said the website would save valuable
time and introduce SMEs to a range of finance options and providers
they may not have been aware of.
The launch has been tentatively received by
industry bodies in the UK.
Julian Rose, head of asset finance at trade
body the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA) of which Experian is
an associate member, said: “It’s important for small businesses to
be aware of the full range of options available for financing new
“Over a thousand small businesses obtain new
asset finance every day, but many more are looking for help to
finance their investments.”
Adam Tyler, chief executive of the National
Association of Commercial Finance Broker (NACFB), said: “The NACFB
have been trying to get the message across to the SME community
about the range of funders that are available to them.
“The Association recognises any attempt at
highlighting this problem, it is vital that these businesses have
access to funding.
“But we need to understand what is on offer
and how it is going to reach all small businesses.
“As an Association we are working alongside
the FLA & ABFA to promote the ability of all our members
together to help stimulate funding in the SME”.
The statement from Experian also said this
method of finance search would enhance the chances of a businesses’
application being submitted to the right provider for the right
type of funding and therefore being accepted first time.
Experian say this will have the added benefit
of helping companies maintain their credit score as multiple
applications for credit can be flagged up as an indication of risk
or fraudulent activity by credit providers.
Simon Streat, Managing Director of Experian’s
UK SME business, said the objectives behind the new websites were
to help SMEs get the finance they need and to raise awareness of
the fact there is more than one form of finance available to
He said: “We have found that many SMEs are
simply not aware of the full range of finance options and providers
that may be more suitable for their needs.
“SME Finance Finder is an important step in
helping to raise awareness of sometimes overlooked types of
finance, such as asset finance or invoice financing, which SMEs may
not have previously considered.”
On the website (www.experian.co.uk/financefinder)
businesses supply details of the finance they need, the purpose of
funding and basic contact information.
Experian then uses a range of publicly available information and
its own proprietary data about the business, including its credit
history, to create a full company profile
This profile is used to match the business with a suitable
broker or lending partner and the most appropriate finance
option. All the partners are vetted by Experian and hold
relevant sector and financial expertise
The partner then makes contact with the business within two
working hours to progress their application. Experian take a
commission from the broker or lender for the