Capify has published results from a survey suggesting that UK small businesses are remaining positive post-Brexit.
The small business lender Capify becomes the latest in a string of alternative finance platforms and industry participants that have pointed to opportunity in the wake of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union. Capify’s poll of 1,000 UK SMEs was headlined by 74.18% of respondents stating that Brexit will have a slight effect on, no effect on, or even improve the health of their businesses over the coming year.
More specifically, 54.36% said that the Leave vote would not impact their ability to raise funds. However, a little over 40% said that the vote would either severely limit or slightly hinder their funding options. At the same time, 21.79% said that it had always been a challenge to raise funding, and a further 17.36% said that it had been “a little challenging” prior to the referendum. In other words, the outlook for these businesses does not look to have been materially worsened by the vote.
The UK’s alternative finance sector came out strongly on the side of Remain prior to the Leave result. In the immediate aftermath of said vote, the rhetoric from the vast majority of platforms was very much of the “business as usual” variety, with a number of platforms going so far as to highlight opportunities. Rhydian Lewis, CEO of RateSetter, said that leaving the EU “may discombobulate big banking conglomerates and FinTech businesses will look to fill any spaces”.
On the investment side, several fund managers, such as Polar Capital’s Nick Brind, have highlighted the potential for marketplace lending assets to outperform in a downturn.
A global rebrand in July of last year brought four companies, include United Kapital in the UK, into the Capify brand. Tony Pegg, MD of Capify’s UK operation, weighed in on the survey result: “When the results were announced on the 24th June, many people were left feeling shocked and uncertain about their future. There’s also been lots of negative comments made in the news, causing people to feel even less confident. However, we need to look at this in a positive light, we all had the chance to vote and we chose to leave. For many years, the UK has had a strong economy, ranking fifth in the world, the EU also made our business owners stick to strict and often ridiculous regulations and now we are free of that. I am happy to see that many business owners are still feeling positive about their future, as long as they continue to work hard and adapt accordingly, they will thrive.”
AltFi is returning to Amsterdam for its second annual Summit in the city. The inaugural event last year was a roaring success, with key figures from across Continental Europe's alternative finance and digital banking sectors highlighted. These included Jeroen Broekema, managing director of Funding Circle Netherlands, and Mieke van Engelen, head of innovative partnerships at ABN AMRO's standalone lending platform, New10.