Banks can help specialist lenders fill the SME finance gap
Banks may be retreating from lending directly to small and medium-sized enterprises, but by lending to credit specialists with good technology they can still be a source of funding for the sector.
Iwoca, one of Europe’s largest specialist SME lenders, on Tuesday announced a new funding line with initial commitments of £200 million from Barclays and Värde Partners, an alternatives investment manager specializing in credit.
According to iwoca’s own most recent SME Expert Index, more than four in five brokers (84%) say high-street banks are reducing their appetite for funding SMEs.
That is up by seven percentage points from the first quarter of 2023.
We are very much at the data-science heavy end of lending. Time is always of the essence for working capital
Back then, iwoca secured an increase from £125 million to £170 million on its existing funding line with long-standing partner Pollen Street Capital as demand for SME finance soared.
This new £200 million funding line now takes the company’s total debt commitments to more than £850 million and equips iwoca to fill at least part of the alarmingly widening funding gap for SMEs.