North west lags behind UK in alternative finance

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A professional body in Liverpool has urged businesses to consider alternative forms of finance in a tricky lending landscape.

Despite the UK’s alternative finance sector growing to £3.2 bn, according to statistics from Nesta, the North West is still ranked as the least active region for funding received and provided.

Professionals in the city will gather today to hear from leading financiers about alternative types of lending that are available such as crowdfunding and equity financing.

Speakers will include Richard Harrison, associate director of private equity investor Endless, Alex Macdonald, regional sales manager of Secure Trust Bank and Adam Gillett, senior business development manager at equity crowdfunding platform Crowdcube.

They will be joined by James Hales, head of origination, and Dan Matkin, investment manager of NorthEdge Capital, with Simon Thelwall-Jones of MSIF, providing a short overview about its offering and achievements in 2016 in the city region.

“The series of Access to Alternative Finance events was launched last year and both have been significantly oversubscribed, showing there is a healthy appetite to learn about this type of finance,” said Professional Liverpool’s corporate finance sector group chair, Matt Noon.

“It’s great to see more providers thinking outside the box and coming up with innovative ways of raising finance such as crowdfunding platforms online.

“Our aim is to assist Professional Liverpool members and provide a forum for businesses of all sizes in the Liverpool City Region to come and learn about alternative methods of finance and make the right choice, according to their needs.”

Steve Stuart, founder of the corporate finance sector group and a Professional Liverpool ambassador said: “The changing financial landscape has led to a reduction in some areas of traditional bank lending and therefore increased the need for alternative finance sources.

“It’s important that businesses are fully informed about the right kind of finance for them for what they need – be it for growth, short-term funding or to sit alongside traditional bank funding. Fortunately, the number of providers and range of products continues to evolve and increase which should hopefully ensure there is an appropriate funding option or options for more and more growing businesses in the Liverpool City Region.”

The next Access to Alternative Finance event will be held in April 2017.

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