Starling and Funding Options support SMEs with fast loans

By William Girling
Recognising the importance of SMEs’ recovery following the pandemic, Starling Bank and Funding Options plan to help them secure fast loans...

Founded in 2011, Funding Options is a “data-driven marketplace for business finance” that endeavours to help small-medium enterprises (SMEs) secure the funds needed to thrive.

Now with over 120 lending partners, the company has helped raise approximately £500m between 10,000 businesses in the UK and the Netherlands.

Starling, still fresh from its unicorn status milestone, holds a 5% share in the UK’s SME market. Its collaboration with Funding Options includes joining the latter’s aforementioned lending panel. 

Championing business growth

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Starling has proven itself to be an ally of small businesses as they seek ways to stay afloat. So far, the pioneering challenger bank has issued £2bn of government-backed loans and plans to grow its SME accounts to 18% of the UK market within five years.

“By forming lending partnerships with credit brokers such as Funding Options, Starling is making it easier for small businesses to get access to the funds they need to survive, grow and flourish,” said Helen Bierton, Chief Banking Officer.

For its part, Funding Options has been similarly proactive over the last 12 months: it processed £850m of CBILS and enabled SMEs to find and access the funds they needed. Stuart Lawson, CRO, is confident that Starling’s participation will add value to their joint efforts:

“This partnership with Starling Bank is yet another strong signal to business owners that Funding Options will do everything to drive competition in the SME lending market and champion business growth by offering fair, cost effective and competitive choice.”

SMEs: Vital to the economy

Analysis in 2020 conducted by McKinsey found that UK SMEs represent 50% of the total economy, making it clear why Starling and Funding Options are such ardent supporters.

Alternative financing - that which doesn’t come from a high street bank - has become increasingly popular and viable as greater restrictions on lending are imposed, which SMEs are often unable to move beyond.

Find out more in our featured article ‘Crowd pleaser: The future of alternative financing is scale.’

Did you know? Anne Boden, CEO and Founder of Starling Bank, was the winner of our Top 100 Women in Fintech list. Read the full article here

Image source: Starling Bank

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