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Press Release: BankiFi and Praetura Join Forces to Revolutionise SME Lending

Press Release: BankiFi and Praetura Join Forces to Revolutionise SME Lending


We are thrilled to announce our partnership with financier Praetura on a new lending-as-a-service solution that will boost SMEs’ access to growth funding.

This first-of-its-kind platform is designed to help small businesses access capital when they may otherwise not meet the criteria for traditional high street banks. Praetura, backed by our tech platform, will deliver asset and invoice finance to SMEs on behalf of banks unable to support those businesses. This solution is ultimately a response to the acute financing crisis that SMEs experience.

According to the Bank of England, banks asset or invoice finance books have closed, and those that do offer such facilities typically focus on larger businesses that are more likely to meet their lending criteria.

The BoE’s own research has found that all net growth in UK SME lending since 2017 has come from smaller banks or alternative lenders rather than traditional high street banks. Meanwhile, Praetura’s ‘Fund the Gap’ report, which surveyed more than 400 UK SMEs in 2023, revealed that almost three-fifths (59%) of UK businesses say access to capital has decreased in the last five years, with 43% reporting that it is one of the biggest challenges they face.

Traditional lenders need to start meeting the diverse financing needs of the UK's small businesses, and this is what our solution empowers them to do. With this, banks are then positioned as the go-to finance provider, with businesses referred back to the bank once they’ve grown into the eligibility criteria.

“We’ve built great relationships with high street banks due to our bank-friendly distribution model and our ability to leverage the benefits of open banking. Our partnership with Praetura is the natural evolution of our existing SME payment solutions, which have focused on reducing the time SMEs spend collecting money and helping them to manage cash flow, growth and now access finance.

The first place many businesses go to for lending is their bank. The problem is that they often don’t meet the eligibility criteria set out by the bank. In these cases, if they can’t secure a loan, they often fall through the cracks and remain unserved. What we’re able to offer through our partnership with Praetura is a solution that both banks and businesses need." - Mark Hartley | Founder and CEO, BankiFi

“Praetura’s initial investment in BankiFi was driven by the shared vision of addressing market gaps for SMEs. There isn’t anyone in the UK that has the combined senior funding lines, specialist lending expertise and technology capability to help fund this gap for SMEs in the market. This unique partnership signals a new era for SME lending, demonstrating a commitment to innovation, collaboration and meeting the diverse needs of businesses.” - Peadar O’Reilly | Chief Executive, Praetura Lending

Read the announcement in The Fintech Times here.

Interested in learning more about our Lending-as-a-Service product? Get in touch with us!


About Elle Rushby | Marketing Executive

Elle Rushby is the Marketing Executive for banking and technology company, BankiFi. With a passion for content creation, copywriting and carving marketing strategies (to name but a few), she is very much enjoying implementing her creativity into the world of BankiFi.

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