Will consenting to a referral harm my credit rating?
Providing consent will not harm your credit rating. Completing an application with a Designated Platform will not affect your credit score. If you make an application to one or more of the lenders it is likely that each lender will undertake credit searches and take previous searches into consideration as part of their risk assessment. However, a number of credit applications alone should not normally cause a problem for you.
How can I be sure that my data is safe and will not be used for marketing purposes?
The platforms are designated by the Government. The platforms are required to comply with data protection legislation, as well as the protections set out in the Small and Medium Sized Business (Finance Platforms) Regulations 2015. Platforms can only use your data in a manner consistent with these regulations and cannot use it for marketing purposes without your consent.
What type or choices of lenders are there on each platform?
Each platform will provide access to a range of lenders including some high street banks and niche funding specialists. Across the platforms typical financing products include business loans, overdrafts, credit cards, asset finance and invoice finance.
Do I have to provide further information to the platforms?
Typically, the information provided by your bank would not be sufficient to enable another lender to undertake a credit assessment. The platform aims to provide you with a funding solution best suited for your needs by ‘matching’ your circumstances and requirements to lenders on their platform. To do this they may require additional information.
Do I have to use all the platforms?
Under the regulations your bank is required to submit information to all platforms. However, there is no obligation to use every platform and you may decide which platform(s) you wish to act on your behalf.
Will the platforms charge me a fee for matching me with other lenders?
No. A platform must not charge any fee to a business for use of this service.
How safe are the platforms?
The designated platforms are required to have robust systems in place that protect against loss, corruption, destruction, misuse or unauthorised access of information.
What should I do if I make an unsuccessful application to a designated bank but no referral was offered?
If you feel that a referral should have been offered, contact your bank who will look into the matter for you, or you can also make use of the services offered by the platforms at any time by visiting their websites:
If my bank declined my application, why would another provider accept it?
Lenders consider borrowing requests based on a range of factors and these may vary across lenders. Therefore some lenders maybe willing to lend when others are not.
Do the platforms offer financing themselves?
Platforms are credit brokers regulated by the FCA – they are not lenders.
What do I do if I no longer wish to use the services of a platform?
You should notify the platform directly.
What happens of I did not give consent initially but then change my mind?
You can ‘self-refer’ to make use of the services of the platforms to help you find finance at any time by visiting their websites.
Where can I go for further information and guidance about business finance?
The Business Finance Guide has recently been published by the British Business Bank in partnership with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).
It is a unique guide that sets out the main things to consider and outlines sources of finance available to businesses. The online version includes an interactive tool allowing businesses to explore their financing options more easily.
You can find the online version at thebusinessfinanceguide.co.uk