January CEO Blog

Following the announcement of our acquisition by Tech Mahindra, this year is already shaping up to be an exciting one for us as we look forward to the next stage in our growth.

Joining with Tech Mahindra allow us to serve our clients better through greatly expanding the solutions and services we provide you.

Towards the end of last year, we were delighted to have the opportunity to speak at the All Party Parliamentary Group on Alternative Finance during one of the most exciting periods in the history of lending. We delivered our thoughts to an audience of Parliamentarians and MP’s in Westminster and outlined why a combination of technology, regulation and demographic change presents challenges and extraordinary opportunities. In this age of instant gratification through direct and public feedback, borrowers’ expectations are rising and it is important lenders do not ignore this new breed of customer.

In 2016 we witnessed so many new entrants to the market and there is a real possibility challengers will start to steal market share this year thanks to the customer centric approach they look to offer. Product innovation is also key and if the established lenders embrace this new world order, we should see a much improved experience for the end user. Regulators and rule makers will also have an important part to play in the process by encouraging the right kinds of prudent lenders into the market.

While on the subject of alternative finance, November saw Chancellor Philip Hammond announce a new scheme to help SMEs access finance they are not getting from the big banks. The scheme would see nine of the largest lenders in the UK pass on the details of businesses they have rejected for funding to three alternative finance platforms. While it is great news that the government is championing the use of alternative finance, this is likely to cause some in this burgeoning industry to take a step back. The scheme could mean we see stricter lending criteria introduced, and at a time when the industry is unsure of the next move in interest rates, if we will even have any in 2017 at all, there may be a breakdown in credit being offered to acceptable businesses. This is certainly a development to watch closely this year.