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Equifax launches data sharing solution to support SME lending

The consumer and business insights expert is doing its bit to stimulate competition in lending.

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Information solutions company Equifax has launched a new solution that provides back up for the government’s Commercial Credit Data Sharing (CCDS) initiative, which is seeking to boost the economy by encouraging new entrants into the SME lending sector.

According to the platform, the new solution “gives lenders a comprehensive picture of a business’ financial health to facilitate faster and more informed lending decisions”.

Equifax was designated as a credit reference agency under the CCDS initiative, giving it access to new data sets from leading business banks, including cash flow activity and debit and credit turnover. The data will be provided to lenders through Equifax Business Insights.

“We’re excited to be supporting this government scheme to boost lending in the SME sector, essential to the health of the UK economy,” said Nic Beishon, Head of Commercial at Equifax.

“CCDS is a game changer for many businesses who have the financial ability to repay a loan but who are currently either denied it or left in limbo when a lack of information leaves banks unable to make a timely decision.”

“The new data overcomes this issue by providing an in-depth view of a business’ financial activity than has ever been accessible before. Combined with other industry initiatives, such as Open Banking and the Payments Services Directive 2, CCDS forms the foundation to restructure the SME lending market and help the sector grow.”

The CCDS initiative covers any company with a turnover of up to £25m, representing 99.9 per cent of the UK business population. As a result of the clearer view such data provides, banks and other lenders will be able to offer SMEs more competitive loans.

Equifax’s new solution also enables lenders to monitor a customer’s financial status, alerting them to any early signs of repayment problems and identifying the best course of action.

Beishon added: “We will be using the data in a variety of ways to create new products for the market, helping lenders better evaluate loan applications. Whether a business needs finance to expand, invest in new technology or open a new office, they will now be able to get faster decisions to help make their plans a reality.”

Officially launched in April 2016, AltFi’s own Ryan Weeks released a breakdown of CCDS, and what it means for the alternative financial sector.

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Ryan Weeks

Fintech Correspondent

Financial News

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