As peer-to-peer financing networks are gaining more ground in Great Britain and the coalition government is pushing legislation that would require banks direct rejected loan applicant to alternative financial services, Santander will be the first high-street bank to officially partner with a P2P service.
Funding Circle, a peer-to-peer lending website that specializes in corporate loans, follows months of negotiation and a move by San Francisco-based Union Bank last week to sell some of its personal loans through the online marketplace Lending Club.
“Santander’s partnership with Funding Circle is a good example of how traditional and alternative finance can work together to help the nation’s SMEs prosper,” Ana Botin, CEO of Santander UK said, reports the Financial Times. “Peer-to-peer financing is also a useful way to introduce people to the concept of investing in entrepreneurs; an important element in a healthy enterprise economy.”
Santander will refer customers to Funding Circle through a direct link on their website.
Samir Desai, co-founder and chief executive of Funding Circle is excited to embark on the new partnership.
“In Santander we have found a fellow challenger brand that shares our commitment to putting small business customers’ needs first. They have created a blueprint for other banks to follow.”
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