Trade Ledger and Equifax extend partnership to support bid for Capability and Innovation Fund (CIF) to transform SME credit scoring
Trade Ledger, the global banking platform, and Equifax, the consumer and business insights
expert, have announced an extended partnership for the UK market which will bid for the
BCR Capability and Innovation fund. The fund is part of the RBS Alternative Remedies
Package, designed to improve the financial products and services available to small and
Trade Ledger’s advanced loan origination and servicing technology, currently being
implemented in a number of tier-one UK banks and alternative finance providers, has been
purpose built to securely aggregate, store and transform any type of structured data directly
from common SME applications like accounting packages to facilitate better digital credit
products. It also combines transaction data from banks and credit history data from credit
bureaus, such as Equifax to help better underwrite risk.
Building on an established data collaboration relationship, the two parties plan to work
together to create a portable credit file solution for SMEs. The proposition will use
breakthrough financial technologies such as Open Banking and Open Accounting to enable
UK SMEs to build their credit profile.
If successful, the solution will be the first time a dedicated SME lending automation platform
and a commercial credit bureau have collaborated on a fully interoperable credit passport for
SMEs with the capability of being used to expedite and improve the entire credit application
process for lenders and SMEs alike.
Martin McCann, co-founder and Chief Executive of Trade Ledger, comments:
“Now more than ever, the UK’s smaller businesses need us to be on their side, so we’re
delighted to partner with Equifax on the concept for a service which, if we are successful, will
deliver tangible benefits to hundreds of thousands of hard-pressed SMEs and lenders
“By leveraging our unique open platform for SME finance and unique commercial data
assets from Equifax, we have the chance to play a significant role in driving the UK’s
recovery from Covid-19, as well as building a more sustainable and competitive financial
services sector after.”
Jayadeep Nair, Chief Product and Marketing Officer at Equifax UK, said:
“We’re acutely aware of the challenges faced by UK SMEs as a result of Covid-19, and want
to play our part in supporting their recovery. Using technology such as APIs and Open
Banking, plus a combination of traditional and new data sources, we can build a better and
more accurate picture of an SME’s financial health in real time.
“For SMEs, having a way of showing their stability and creditworthiness based upon the
most current data is crucial to accessing finance as they look to rebuild after the pandemic.”
Equifax has been part of the SME sector in the UK for over 40 years, delivering credit
reports, scores and credit limits. Equifax is one of the world’s largest information services
businesses and, with circa 10,000 clients in the UK, has established relationships with the
majority of the commercial lending market.
As part of the new collaboration, Equifax have also committed to joining Trade Ledger’s
SME fintech task force, formed to establish a new business credit origination and
underwriting infrastructure for lenders in the wake of Covid-19. Current taskforce members
include leading UK fintechs Nimbla, Wiserfunding and Northrow.