Dun & Bradstreet has been confirmed as a designated Credit Reference Agency (CRA) by HM Treasury and is one of four CRAs able to receive credit data from the designated banks. The commercial credit data sharing scheme was launched as part of the UK Government’s commitment to support SME growth and requires nine leading banks to share credit information on SMEs with other finance providers.
Greater access to this data makes it easier for other finance providers to check the creditworthiness of potential SME business customers. The aim is to stimulate more competition in the SME lending market and increase the range of funding available to businesses who are looking to grow and to support start-ups seeking initial capital.
The scheme appears to be making an impact, with the British Business Bank’s recently published Small Business Finance Report confirming that the growth of alternatives to bank finance is continuing (although the pace has slowed) and awareness of finance options outside of traditional lending is also increasing.
Dun & Bradstreet research in November 2018 also found that over two thirds (67%) of SMEs believe the availability of finance has a significant impact on their business success. When asked if they received financial support, 43% of respondents had received funds and 57% had not, with the most popular source still a business loan from a bank (42%) followed by a personal loan from a friend or family member (27%).
Edward Thorne, UK Managing Director at Dun & Bradstreet said “small and medium businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and in the current uncertain climate it’s more important than ever to ensure funding is available from a range of sources to support future growth.”
“Dun & Bradstreet is already working with the designated banks to integrate SME credit information into our data cloud so that we can deliver enhanced solutions to our customers and play our role in supporting increased competitive in the SME lending space.”
CRA designation is awarded following a comprehensive application process administered on behalf of HM Treasury by the British Business Bank.
The other three designated CRAs are Creditsafe, Equifax and Experian.