Following the closing of its Seedrs equity crowdfunding campaign, peer-to-peer lender Flender has selected Equifax Limited to support the underwriting for UK small and medium enterprises (SME) loans.
Flender, which secured £501,700 from more than 230 investors through its equity crowdfunding round, is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under Registration Number 657861. The online lender is currently looking to enable businesses and consumers the ability to borrow money through their existing networks of friends, family, and customers. The lender stated during its Seedrs run:
“Flender intends to offer established small businesses an innovative new way to access finance by leveraging their loyal customer base. In the consumer space, Flender will facilitate and formalise an existing and large market of social lending across the UK and Ireland. We aim to do this via a unique combination of bringing trust through social networks, giving all users the ability to set their own interest rates, and all via a seamless mobile user experience.”
According to Finextra, Equifax will be supplying real-time consumer and commercial to help make the underwriting process automated and optimized. This data, which will be provided by Equifax Business Insight’s solution, will give a comprehensive view of SME loan applicants. Andrew Hullock, Head of New Business Alternative Lending at Equifax, stated:
“This partnership represents our continuing commitment to the alternative lending sector and our support for new and innovative entrants to the market. It’s a great example of a lender maximising the use of commercial data, an exciting area to watch as the potentially industry changing commercial credit data sharing (CCDS) scheme continues to develop. Competition in SME lending needs to improve, and providers like Flender with a new approach are a healthy addition to the market.”
Kris Koik, CEO at Flender, went on to note that the lender sees Equifax as a primary bureau in the alternative lending sector and it was a clear choice for Flender. He added:
“We’re doing things differently and Equifax has a proven track record in working with lenders on flexible solutions at the early stages of their development. The combination of extensive consumer and commercial data that Equifax provides will be vital in enabling us to meet our targets, both in the UK and as we expand into Europe.”