To offer expanded services as it pursues a digital innovation strategy of harnessing partnerships to provide an enhanced customer experience, Fifth Third is teaming with Fundation for small business loans. Fundation will provide its products to customers that don’t meet the loan eligibility guidelines of Fifth Third, which will aid the bank meet more of the credit needs of its small business clients, according to reports.
Fundation CEO Sam Graziano said, according to reports, “At Fundation, our mission is to enable our banking clients to give their small business customers the best of both worlds – great products at great prices along with the modernized experience they expect in the digital era.”
Graziano continued, “This collaboration does exactly that. The combination of Fifth Third Bank’s renowned brand, customer reach and great products with our digital lending platform will allow us to collectively serve the Bank’s customers with best-in-class products and a best-in-class customer experience.”
As it stands, over a quarter of small business owners reportedly grapple with getting the funds they require to expand per a 2017 National Small Business Association report. Companies that lack access to capital are not able to grow their operations or have had to cut their headcounts.
Kala Gibson, head of Business Banking for Fifth Third, said per reports, “We understand that when small businesses need to purchase inventory or create a prototype, they can’t wait or risk losing out on growth opportunities.” She continued, “Fifth Third Fast Capital can help get funds quickly, so they can move forward with their next opportunity.”
The news comes a few years after a bank referral scheme began in the United Kingdom. The program requires traditional banks to refer small businesses to alternative lenders if they’re not accepted for a loan. Chancellor Philip Hammond in a statement said per reports at the time, “A refusal from a big bank should not be the end of the line for a small business and, thanks to the finance platforms being launched today, now it won’t be.”