This week’s news: 16-20 November 2015

This week’s news: 16-20 November 2015

November 20, 2015

From Vox, the news portal for the Centre of Economic Policy Research, comes a detailed look at how SME funding risk is allocated in the EU. Ultimately, there’s a need for someone to shoulder the not-inconsiderable risk of financing SMEs, as they’re a key part of economic growth, and economists call for policymakers to consider this seriously.

The latest in the neverending fintech vs. banks debate: CBR shows us five ways big banks are actually backing fintech, both directly and indirectly. So everyone might be getting along after all.

Another great piece on Medium – what happens to alternative lenders when the market tanks. It’s US-focused, but the author’s methods can be applied to the UK market too. Takeaways: lenders will be fine, the rest of fintech is in trouble. They namecheck companies with “incredibly thin gross margins overall, high operating costs, and an insatiable need for capital to sustain the business,” who are approaching a “reckoning.”

On that note, peer-to-peer lenders in the UK are getting regulated by the FCA – at least, some are. Since the FCA announced its plans to regulate peer-to-peer platforms last year, 30 lenders withdrew their applications. While this might suggest that these firms are unable to meet regulatory requirements, there’s another factor in play: one major platform is spending £500,000 to get authorised. Their Head of Communications noted that a fee like that “can change the economics of your business.” No kidding.

Tax specialists are criticizing HMRC’s move from smaller offices to large regional hubs, citing concerns about customer experience. RSM UK’s head of tax asks “is this change designed to provide a better service to HMRC’s customers or simply save costs?”

Finally, this week was UK Crowdfunding Week. Our how-to guide to crowdfunding your business is here, and a really nice infographic from the Crowdfunding Centre is here, if you want to learn more.


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Sarah Thornton

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