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TSB to create a lending marketplace to help small businesses across the UK get the funding they need to grow

28th March 2018


  • TSB continues to ramp up its challenge against the big banks by announcing the launch of Business Marketplace – a one-stop-shop which will give small businesses the means to compare financing options in one place. 
  • Business Marketplace, available in May, is a solution that no other high street bank in the UK offers side-by-side with their own loans.   
  • TSB believes small businesses must be given choice and that competition will drive us to create the best solutions for customers. 

Britain’s challenger bank, TSB, bolsters its commitment to break the shackles that the big banks have on the small business banking market by creating Business Marketplace – allowing small businesses to easily compare financing options from a number of lenders in one place.

There are millions of hardworking people employed by over 5.7 million small businesses right across the UK, together they make up 60 per cent of the private sector economy. 

Small business banking is dominated by the big banks that control over 90% of the market between them.  Many small businesses only approach the largest banks when seeking finance, and they often have complex and time consuming application processes.  To compound the problem, a large number of these applications are rejected – in the case of first time start-up borrowers the rejection rate is around 50%*. 

TSB believes real competition is needed in this market to break the shackles the big banks have had on Britain’s small businesses for far too long.

TSB is partnering with Funding Options to deliver Business Marketplace in May, which will help small businesses scan the market in minutes, opening up the range of loans and types of finance on offer to them.  While small businesses can apply for a loan with TSB they will also be free to shop around and compare options from a wide range of other lenders through Business Marketplace – a solution that no other high street bank in the UK offers side-by-side with their own loans.  

A multi-million pound investment programme is also underway to build new banking services for small businesses across the UK – led by TSB’s new Commercial Banking Director, Richard Davies.

Richard says:  “When I speak to small business owners across the UK, I am acutely aware that running a small business leaves little time and energy to find the right business lender and navigate complex business lending procedures.  We want to help small businesses to focus on what they love doing the most, which is running their business.  That’s why we’re partnering with Funding Options to launch a straightforward and competitive lending marketplace that helps small businesses to borrow well – with access to a host of lending options that they can compare side-by-side to find the loan that best suits them. 

“There is a huge funding gap for small businesses that exists in the UK today and it is stunting the growth of these firms and stopping them from investing to grow.  Bringing more competition to UK banking is in our DNA, and Business Marketplace will allow a small business owner to easily compare what’s available in the market.  We believe customers must be given choice, and that competition will drive us to create the best solutions for customers.  This will help unlock the true potential of small businesses and address the stagnation of productivity in the UK.

“We want to create something better for small businesses in the UK and this is just another example of how we are leading the charge.  As well as launching Business Marketplace, we’ll soon be introducing a new digital lending platform, offering millions of pounds of lending to small businesses.  The platform will allow small businesses to apply and receive instant credit checks and approvals online – reducing time and paperwork.  It will be one of a number of FinTech partnerships that we invest in to bring new services and experiences to small businesses – watch this space!” 

Conrad Ford, Chief Executive of Funding Options says:  “The future for banks is to offer not just their own products to customers, but also the best the market has to offer.  This is especially true in SME finance, where not every small business is right for bank lending, yet a thriving market of alternative lenders stands ready to deliver much-needed funding. 

“Business banking is a sector ripe for fresh thinking, so we're delighted to be working with TSB on its forward-thinking approach to bring new choice and competition, and my team has been deeply impressed with the speed and energy of everyone at TSB.”

Today’s announcement is just another example of how TSB is starting to put all the pieces in place to bring more competition to the small business banking market in 2018.  It follows TSB’s partnership with Enterprise Nation to help boost the digital capability of small businesses and entrepreneurs across the UK; and the announcement with its parent, Sabadell, where up to £100 million pounds of funding will be made available to invest in small businesses and start-ups based in regions right across the UK.

*British Bank Small Business Finance Markets 2016 /17 p.47


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Notes to editors


Funding Options is one of the UK’s leading marketplace for business finance.  Funding Options is fully authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, and a British Business Bank designated online business finance platform.  It is using next generation tools like live pre-approval and third-party data sources to enrich matching in real time.  Funding Options is bringing UK businesses the speed and convenience they expect as consumers, with the entire process from enquiry to approval completed in fewer than 10 minutes in many cases.

About TSB

TSB was built to bring more competition to UK banking and ultimately make banking better for all UK consumers. TSB only serves local customers and local businesses, to help fuel local economies, because communities thriving across Britain is a good thing for all of us.
We have a simple, straightforward and transparent banking model and make clear on our website how we operate and make money. We offer the products and services people tell us they want, with none of the funny stuff people normally associate with traditional banks.
Our five million customers appear to notice: TSB is Britain’s most recommended high street bank and was identified as one of the top five big companies to work for in 2018. 
TSB is starting to put all the pieces in place to take on the small business banking market.  TSB’s new state-of-the-art banking platform will unlock even greater SME capability for TSB in 2018 and positions the Bank well to compete for one of the grants from the Capability and Innovation Fund recently announced by the UK Government and designed to boost competition in the business banking market.  The Bank will be submitting a bid for a Pool A grant.

For further information about TSB Bank plc, please visit our website