New alternative business finance association swells ranks

By Ryan Weeks on Tuesday 4 April 2017

Alternative Lending

Recently launched AABF welcomes three new member platforms.

Recently launched AABF welcomes three new member platforms.

Another three direct lending firms have signed up to the Association of Alternative Business Finance, bringing its member count to ten. The new signings are Invoice Cycle, Merchant Money and Reward Finance Group.

All three platforms are focused on small business finance, as indeed are the association’s seven founding members. Invoice Cycle allows SMEs to access advanced payments for outstanding invoices. Merchant Money specialises in finance facilities of up to £150k, in addition to “Pay As You Trade” advances of up to £500k. Reward Finance Group offers three solutions for SMEs: asset backed cash flow funding, invoice finance and 100 per cent funding for pre-sold goods.

The AABF was launched in February of this year. Representation for the UK’s diverse array of balance sheet-based alternative lenders has been somewhat limited to date. Conversely the peer-to-peer and crowdfunding sectors have both the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association and the UK Crowdfunding Association at their disposal, the former of which was instrumental in lobbying for the industry to be regulated by the FCA. 

Rob Straathof, who runs one of the AABF’s founding member platforms Liberis, said at a conference last week that the association is not currently open to peer-to-peer lenders. 

The group is chaired by Just Loans Group boss John Davies. Its core operating principles are: transparency, responsibility, fairness and security. One of its key initiatives is to create a centralised database for fraudulent applicants and personal guarantees, in order to limit the ability of borrowers to take out a loan from multiple vendors at the same time.  

“As the alternative finance sector develops, it is important that the leading providers work together to develop industry standards, and ensure our clients receive the highest levels of service,” said David Cockle, UK managing director of Invoice Cycle. “The AABF is at the forefront of developing this industry standard and we are very happy to become early members and offer our support.”

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