Event Type: SME forum

In the CMA’s original Retail Banking Investigation in 2017, the CMA found that 90% of SMEs went to their own bank for lending and that “competition … is not working well”. Prior to the COVID crisis there were promising signs of a shift in the market, with product innovation, new market entrants and a growing acceptance that small businesses can and should shop around for credit. Open Banking was starting to play a role in giving access to transaction data for lending decisions.

This was before the dramatic changes launched by the Government to help small businesses survive the COVID crisis. 

This SME Forum will explore what comes next for SME lending. A number of small businesses have taken on additional debt and some for the first time. Some alternative lenders have become distributors of Government funds and some small businesses report having to return to the large incumbent banking providers in order to access credit. The market is at a cross-roads and we have gathered a panel of experts to help look at whether pre-COVID trends will resume or whether a longer-term structural shift has occurred.

At this SME Forum we focussed on one of the most frustrating and challenging processes for any small business – tax. Open Banking and Tax: mind the gap, was a short, sharp discussion on how open banking can help take the pain out of calculating tax owed, preparing a submission, and paying it, for SMEs across the country.

With the UK’s tax deadline fast approaching, there have been some important developments in this space – not least the recent announcement of HMRC awarding a £3m contract to ecosystem participant Ecospend, alongside another RFI to explore the opportunities of open banking.

If you missed the event, you can see a recording below:

OBIE’s SME Forum on Thursday 3rd December at 12pm focused on the increasing use of open banking payments in the UK’s small business economy – driven by an exciting mix of factors:

And the results of our recent survey, where over 60% of small businesses surveyed expressed interest in exploring new, non-card payment options – the second most popular potential open banking application.

The OBIE assembled a panel of experts to share their thoughts on why open banking payments are a good thing for UK businesses, and how they could benefit from increased competition in the payments market.

Moderator: Mark Chidley, Independent SME Representative to the OBIE

If you missed this event, you can see it below:

The Open Banking Implementation Entity was pleased to welcome a panel of expert speakers and a public audience of over 160 attendees to this digital forum event, on Wednesday 23rd September. We tasked each contributor with reporting back from the frontlines of the UK’s small business community regarding the appetite and opportunity of open banking – given their dual roles as both service providers to SMEs, and SMEs themselves. Featuring comments from:

– Andrew Gillespie, Co-founder, LEAR
– David Carr, CFO and Head of Product, Clear Books
– Fliss Berridge, Co-founder, Ordo
– Zitah McMillan, CEO & Co-founder, Predictive Black
And moderated by Mark Chidley, Independent SME Representative to the OBIE.

If you missed the event, you can watch it below:

On 17th June the OBIE invited a panel of small business, fintech and enterprise experts to discuss economic effect of Covid-19 on the UK’s SME industry – and the potential of open banking to address that impact.

Three particular aspects were explored:

Managing Debt: many small businesses will have taken on more debt to survive the crisis. Some may have borrowed for the first time. This will present particular challenges to small businesses in the future.

Managing Cashflow: cashflow challenges will be significant. Free cashflow will have been burned through and guarding cash will be a key skill. Some businesses may boost their cashflow by delaying payments, causing further suffering to their suppliers.

Managing Productivity: many small businesses will emerge from the crisis with reduced staff, more pressure and greater levels of stress and mental health issues. Tools to help business owners focus more of their energies around their business.

Speakers were:

Philip King, Interim Small Business Commissioner
Andrea Reynolds, Founder and CEO of Swoop
Wendy Tapia, Product Manager at Sage
Mark Chidley, OBIE SME Representative

If you missed the session, you can watch it below: