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Equifax launches SME funding tool

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  • 06/02/2018
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Equifax launches SME funding tool
Consumer credit reporting agency Equifax has launched a scheme to support the government's Commercial Credit Data Sharing (CCDS) initiative, which aims to boost funding for SMEs and spur competition.

 

The scheme uses data sets gained from nine major banks to provide lenders with a picture of the financial health of firms with a turnover of up to £25m.

Through Equifax Business Insights, lenders will be able to see a business’s cash flow activity, debit and credit turnover, and minimum and maximum average balances.

Equifax said the scheme will allow lenders to monitor the borrower’s financial status, and be alerted to any potential problems with payments, as well as identifying the most suitable course of action.

This will be of particular benefit to SMEs who only occasionally apply for finance, as the clarity of repayment capacities will enable lenders to offer more competitive loans.

The CCDS was launched in April 2016, requiring nine major commercial banks to share the credit information they hold on their small and medium-enterprises (SME) customers – with the intention of improving SME access to funding by streamlining information access.

 

Game changer

Nic Beishon, head of commercial at Equifax, commented: “CCDS is a game changer for many businesses who have the financial ability to repay a loan but who are currently either denied it or left in limbo when a lack of information leaves banks unable to make a timely decision.

“The new data overcomes this issue by providing an in-depth view of a business’ financial activity than has ever been accessible before.”

The nine banks mandated to share their data sets are RBS, Lloyds, HSBC, Barclays, Santander, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, Bank of Ireland, Danske Bank, and First Trust Bank.

Beishon continued: “Combined with other industry initiatives, such as Open Banking and the Payments Services Directive II, CCDS forms the foundation to restructure the SME lending market and help the sector grow.”

He added: “We will be using the data in a variety of ways to create new products for the market, helping lenders better evaluate loan applications.

“Whether a business needs finance to expand, invest in new technology or open a new office, they will now be able to get faster decisions to help make their plans a reality.”

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