In 2012, The Breedon Report recommended a ‘signposting’ system, to redirect customers turned down by the banks towards the alternative, non-bank sector. However, given increasingly stringent regulations, banks remained reticent to follow Breedon’s recommendations. A combination of innovation from the alternative funders and government intervention was required.

Clifton Asset Management took up this challenge, bringing together non-bank finance market-leaders to launch (ABF) –– a web portal designed to signpost SMEs to the most appropriate sources of alternative funding, and offer short-cuts to finance options business owners might be unaware of.

DWP was brought in to launch the ABF portal and create media noise around the need for legislation to force the banks to refer to alternative funders when they could not lend to a customer.

The inaugural Alternative Finance (AltFi) Summit in London, where Business Secretary, Vince Cable, was keynote speaker – provided a unique PR launch platform for the portal.

“In just a few months since launch, ABF has dominated debate on this area through clever use of PR and opinion-forming strategies.”

Strategic lobbying ensured Vince Cable directly referred to the ABF portal in his speech. The Budget followed on 19 March, with an alternative funding consultation announced examining delivery of proposals to ensure banks refer rejected SMEs to alternative funders. On 6th August the Treasury announced that legislation would be introduced.

DWP was a Finalist in the 2014 CIPR Awards for the ABF campaign. High profile press hits during the launch and consultation included: and Forbes. more…

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