The Government-backed Bank Referral Scheme since the scheme which was launched in November 2016 means that small businesses have been able to source more than £15 million in funding.

The scheme allows small businesses rejected by high street lenders to source alternative finance through the referral scheme.

The scheme has enable financial support to nearly 19,000 small businesses who were rejected for finance from one of the big banks have been referred under the scheme.

Over 900 businesses have secured funding.

This means that over the last 12 months the policy has helped a further 670 businesses raise £12m of funding. • Since Q4 2017 the conversion rate for SMEs who make contact with a platform has been over 10%, coming into line with market expectations.

The bank referral scheme was created by the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 to allow the UK government to keep an eye on businesses and their requests for business finance.

John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said: “From breweries to beauticians, more than 900 British businesses have been matched with the funding they need to grow since we introduced our scheme. Small businesses are the backbone of Britain, yet many give up on their plans to expand if they can’t get a loan from their bank. Now, however, thanks to our match-making scheme, they have another shot.”