It’s been a busy week for the political parties as they publish manifestos. While there are broad statements of intent, there is a concerning lack of detail around banking reform and mitigating the next banking crisis. With so much debate on austerity measures, political leaders are jockey to win points for their ideas on dealing with the symptoms, rather than tackling the cause. The banking system is far from fixed and there is sparse debate on the subject…
In the seven years before the financial crisis, lending to non-financial business accounted for just 8% of the total lending by UK banks. In fact, net lending to SMEs (that’s gross lending less repayments) was negative in the Bank of England’s most recent figures. Some of this is compensated with non-bank lending thanks to the rise of p2p lending and firms like rebuildingsociety.com
The banking system needs to do a better job of supporting businesses according to the manifestos of the three main parties published this week. Labour promise to “develop a banking system that works for businesses in every region and every sector in Britain”. The Conservatives “will continue to build a stronger, safer and more secure banking system that… provides businesses with the finance they need to grow and create jobs” and the Liberal Democrats pledge to “grow a competitive banking sector, support alternative finance providers and improve access to finance for business and consumers”.
But there’s a lot more to financial reform than supporting SMEs…
Do the political leaders really think that Basel III goes far enough?!
Do politicians really believe that the reforms of the last five years have fixed the financial system, and that this is something we no longer need to worry about? Experts continue to warn that the next crash could be just around the corner, and research from <acronym title=”New Economics Foundation”>NEF</acronym> shows that the UK remains uniquely exposed.
Meanwhile, mis-selling scandals continue to pop up with depressing regularity – even the Pensions Minister seems worried that the government’s latest pension reforms, may build the next wave of mis-selling as unscrupulous dealers rush to take advantage of vulnerable pensioners. Have we reached the goal of a financial system that is stable, sustainable and fair?
The stakes could scarcely be higher. So why are our politicians so reluctant to talk about financial reform? Perhaps they are in the pockets of the industry…? Or maybe they just think that financial reform is not a voting issue – that ‘banker bashing’ has become unfashionable.
If the new government doesn’t seek to reform the financial system, then it’s even more important we work together to dis-intermediate finance. Bypassing the banks is one way you can play a small part in helping avert the next financial crisis.
Alas it seems we’ve got a long way to go on our mission; but while society needs work, we’ll keep rebuilding.
If you’re not a member and would like to help with the rebuild, please register here.
This article was inspired by posts from Positive Money and the New Economics Foundation. Please help spread awareness. There’s no excuse to be unprepared for the next crisis.
Photo Credit: CC: Rob Taylor
17th Apr, 2015
Who is embracing the finance revolution, and who’s stuck in the past?
Now that the main parties’ 2015 election manifestos have been launched and released for public consumption, we wanted to round up how each of the documents approaches the issue of business finance – and in particular, of course, the party’s attitude to crowdfunding, peer-to-business lending, or other alternative means of finance. (more…)
15th Apr, 2015
Cutting out the middle man allows for revolutionary campaigns.
Alternative finance is a world of two sides. On one hand, there’s the spreadsheets, the vital tens and hundreds that keep our economy ticking over; but on the other, there’s a community spirit that argues connecting people directly with businesses can have an overwhelmingly positive social impact. At rebuildingsociety.com, we believe the directness that the industry provides enables people to make better decisions about how to spend and raise money. (more…)
13th Apr, 2015
Seeds of opportunities for SMEs and investors have been sown: the House of Lords is leading the push for a European Capital Markets Union. Central to this will be the potential for better access to finance for SMEs, and more opportunities for investors.
06th Mar, 2015
Following on from the success of our 2014 events, rebuildingsociety.com would like to invite borrowers, lenders and introducers to a one day roadshow focusing on the alternative finance industry. The Leeds-based event will take place on 23rd April 2015.
Hosted by rebuildingsociety.com, the event will describe how the peer-to-business market is rapidly evolving. Whether you’re looking to borrow growth capital for your business, lend money to UK SMEs, introduce business to rebuildingsociety.com, launch your own crowdfunding business, or just want to learn more about the sector from one of the market’s most innovative players, this event should prove enlightening. (more…)
03rd Mar, 2015
rebuildingsociety.com is supporting the growth of peer-to-peer and peer-to-business lending in Australia with a number of projects that will accelerate the industry’s growth and provide new opportunities for both investors and borrowers in the country.
The launch of peer-to-business marketplace lending provider Marketlend, a platform built by rebuildingsociety’s sister company White Label Crowdfunding, will bolster the burgeoning Australian market and provide investors with even more peer-to-peer lending options.
Marketlend is the first peer to peer lender to secure every loan in a securitized trust protected by an independent trustee, meaning that lenders have a secured note with a trustee, an independent company controlling the assets and all monies.
The coming weeks will see rebuildingsociety.com roll out a joint referral scheme with Marketlend whereby affiliates will earn commissions for referrals between the platforms.
The launch of Marketlend comes hot on the heels of ThinCats’ Australian début, another platform built using rebuildingsociety’s technology.
17th Feb, 2015
Leeds is an ever changing city. In the past few years the emergence of the Trinity shopping centre and the First Direct Arena have changed the landscape in both a physical and business sense. Such changes have thrown up new opportunities, and in some cases created new challenges, for the city’s established business community.
This theme of change was at the heart of the Game Changers event held on 12th February. Hosted by two of Leeds’ up and coming businesses, The Professional and Whitecap Consulting, the event was held at one of Leeds’ most recent additions.
The iconic First Direct Arena was the setting for speeches from some of the region’s business leaders and discussion on what it takes to make a mark in a changing environment. rebuildingsociety was there to hear their experiences, insights and thoughts for the future. (more…)
12th Feb, 2015
We know we’re new. We’re also in a new industry and things are done a little differently to other finance providers.
But we still believe we’ve got a great product that is suitable for businesses of all sizes, sectors and locations across the UK. Here are some of our best features:
1. We’ll listen to you and guide you through the application process. Our business development team (Rick Hyland and Nick Newton) will be on hand to take your calls and emails to keep you posted on progress, while our underwriting and legal team will work hard to get you through the loan preparation and completion stage with minimal fuss. After all, you’ve got a business to run.
2. We’ll be realistic about your progress. If we don’t think we can help you this time round, we’ll tell you ASAP. But we’ll try to point you to places that can help as that’s part of our ethos of building lasting relationships. When we can help you in the future, it would be great to do so.
3. We’ll tell your story. When you’re looking to tell potential investors about your company history to help them gauge whether to lend to you, we’re on hand to write features about the business to get your character across. Similarly, when it finishes and you’ve got a good news story about securing a loan for growth, we’ll help you write that and distribute it.
12th Feb, 2015
As we reach 100 completed loans, we’re starting to notice more applications from businesses looking to grow through refinancing.
This is usually a result of one or a combination of these factors:
1. Companies have multiple loans or facilities and want to consolidate them for the ease of managing one repayment and to potentially save money on repayments.
2. Existing loans are coming to an end and they want to borrow more to kick-start another period of growth.
3. An existing relationship with a finance provider doesn’t align with the needs of the business. For example, refusing to lend a larger amount or demanding early repayment of a loan.
Some businesses that have successfully refinanced through us recently include Crystal Kitchens, Huyton Heat Treatments and Mercia College.
All three had taken a loans with rebuildingsociety, reapplied for a larger amount and walked away with a larger loan and a lower rate than their previous loan.
11th Feb, 2015
With half term on the horizon, Tamar Adventures Limited will re-open their ‘Tree Surfing’ course this Saturday for the 2015 season. Director Kate Blake is ready for the increase in activity for both customers and business alike, so she’s applying for a loan through the rebuildingsociety marketplace.
Operating as a tourist and outdoor adventure destination in Devon, Tamar Adventures provide family days out and outdoor activities such as high rope ‘Tree Surfing’, canoe and kayak trips and mountain biking. During the winter months they run outdoor leaders’ courses to train others in the various skills needed for the summer season ahead
May 2014 saw families descend on the Tamar Valley to learn, relax and enjoy a range of outdoor activities as part of the Tamar Trails festival. Kate describes the Tamar Trails Centre as being the ‘centrepiece’ of the festival and it is clear such events have driven the family activity orientated direction of the company, giving Kate much to be optimistic about going into 2015.
This year, Tamar Adventures Limited have turned to asset investment to increase the amount of people pursuing their activities. Replacement and renewal of items in their current course and the creation of a junior ‘Tree Surfing’ course will be supported by new marketing strategies to boost the sale of tickets. (more…)