In the next few weeks all of the major political parties will be making key policy announcements and this ‘manifesto’ has been released to outline key recommendations on how to ensure the long term growth of the alternative finance space.
Commenting on the launch Louise Beaumont, Head of Public Affairs and Marketing, GLI Finance said:
“The alternative finance sector has played a crucial role in providing much needed finance to high-growth SMEs at a time when they have been consistently failed by traditional lenders. The industry is now a vital part of the credit ecosystem given its unique ability to meet the needs of SMEs, including those businesses operating in a knowledge-based economy.”
The manifesto builds upon the recent measures announced by the Government including the launch of its Banking for the 21st Century report in the 2015 Budget and the Royal Assent of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act, providing guidance on how these should be implemented and further policy recommendations necessary to ensure the continued growth of the sector.
Last year saw the industry provide nearly £1.6 billion worth of loans, which was an increase of 141.32% on 2013. The sector also saw 146,496 investors enter the space. It is imperative that the industry continues to grow at this pace. No doubt the new bank referral scheme that is set to come into place will help with this.
Louise Beaumont continued:
“It is imperative that, regardless of the makeup of the next government, the momentum that has been generated in the sector is not lost. We have made significant strides in developing a policy framework that has the potential to make a real difference, paving the way for better regulation, higher levels of awareness and opening the sector up more effectively to institutional investors.
“However, such a framework is wasted in the absence of effective implementation and we must ensure that in an uncertain political climate the correct steps are taken to ensure the UK remains a global leader. Getting this right will ensure the successful future of tens of thousands of high-growth SMEs and established corporates who are currently unable to access appropriate finance solutions. These businesses have the power to fuel our economic recovery; a strong incentive for any of the major political parties.”
Key priorities outlined in the manifesto include:
Ensuring the British Business Bank is empowered and well-funded to ensure the success of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act
National marketing campaigns to raise awareness of alternative finance amongst SMEs
Alternative finance education programmes for bank relationship managers and professional financial advisers
The expedited introduction of a separate class of Peer-to-Peer ISA
Maintaining the current trajectory of tax reliefs on investments in the FinTech sector