ESME Loans, NatWest’s standalone digital lending platform for SMEs and scale up businesses, has announced its closure. This is the latest victim of current economic climate that has already seen many funders close their doors or decrease their lending amounts. This trend is a blow to the small and medium business community but there are still options out there.
The recent 2021 Budget announcement made it clear that there are government backed facilities to support SMEs out of the recession. And in a report by British Business Bank, invoice finance was singled out as a leading option for “helping smaller businesses recover”.
Alternative funding is the clear solution for companies that feel they have been left behind by the big banks. Products like invoice finance are the life blood to many industries and can help a large majority of businesses access additional cashflow for day-to-day running or expansion.
Optimum Finance’s Chief Commercial Officer, Lynn-Marie Jameson, said, “Banks have an important role to play in assisting UK companies get the level of funding they need. They have the benefit of very low funding costs, but also face strict regulatory requirements which often make servicing small businesses uneconomic.
“Specialist invoice finance companies such as Optimum Finance can complement a bank’s offerings. Optimum operates under a lighter touch regulatory regime and we have efficient automated systems meaning we can afford to service companies in the sub £2m turnover sector of the market.”
CEO of Optimum Finance, Ant Persse, added,“Our doors are always open to small and medium businesses who need help and advice. We’re passionate about SMEs and the impact they make on our economy. Being nimble and agile in the current economy is a must and because of this we’re able to support businesses when the larger establishments can’t.”