The hokey-cokey reporting of SME lending continues. As we have reported earlier on this platform: "The signals on funding for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are mixed. Every few weeks research is released that purports to show SMEs are waking up to the funding available outside the traditional banking mainstream. Then along comes data that seems to demonstrate the opposite."
ONLY five per cent of small businesses that have been referred to alternative finance providers under the Bank Referral Scheme have gone on to get a loan, official data shows.The Bank Referral Scheme, launched in November 2016, mandates nine of the UK's largest high-street banks to pass on the details of small businesses they have turned down for loans to three finance aggregator platforms – Alternative Business Funding, Funding Options and Funding Xchange.The latest Treasury data shows 30,000 small businesses which were rejected for finance from one of the big banks have been referred under the scheme as of 30 June 2019, but just 1,650 have secured more than £32m of funding.So what does all this mean? One argument is that no-one's really in charge, that communication to SMEs is poor, that awareness of alternative funding is patchy.Our own position is clear: We'll still be here, Brexit and associated downturn or not, ad lending, so long as the companies seeking funds are good and the lenders continue to want good returns on capital, will continue.
This autumn will see a series of new loans. Watch this space.
Historical Performance And IFISA Process Guide
Money&Co. lenders have achieved an average return of more than 8 per cent gross (before we deduct our one per cent fee).
That figure is the result of over £17 million of loans facilitated on the site, as we bring individuals looking for a good return on capital together with carefully vetted small companies seeking funds for growth. Bear in mind that lenders' capital is at risk. Read warnings on site before committing capital.
Money&Co. has been lending for over 5 years and has only had one bad debt so far, representing a bad debt rate of 0.03 per cent per annum.
All loans on site are eligible to be held in a Money&Co. Innovative Finance Individual Savings Account (IFISA), up to the annual ISA limit of £20,000. Such loans offer lenders tax-free income.Our offering is an Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) that can hold the peer-to-peer (P2P) business loans that Money&Co. facilitates. For the purposes of this article, the terms ISA and IFISA are interchangeable.So here's our guide to the process:
Step 1: Register as a lender. Go to the login page, and go through the process that the law requires us to effect. This means we have to do basic checks on you to comply with money-laundering and other security requirements.
Step 2: Put money into your account. This is best done by electronic transfer. We can also process paper cheques drawn in favour of Denmark Square Limited, the parent company of Money&Co.
Step 3: Buy loans in the loan market. Once you've put cash in your account it will sit there - and it won't earn interest until you've bought a piece of a loan. It's this final step that requires lenders and IFISA investors to be pro-active. Just choose some loans - all loans on the Money&Co. site can be held in an IFISA - and your money will start earning tax-free interest.
The ISA allowance for 2019/20 is unchanged from last tax year at £20,000, allowing a married couple to put £40,000 into a tax-free environment. Over three years, an investment of this scale in two Money&Co. Innovative Finance ISAs would generate £8,400 of income completely free of tax. We're assuming a 7 per cent return, net of charges and free of tax here.Once you have made your initial commitment, you might then consider diversifying - buying a spread of loans. To do this, you can go into the "loans for sale" market. All loans bought in this market also qualify for IFISA tax benefits.