SME Funding Awards 2021- Winners

It is with great pleasure, that today we can announce the winners of the SME Funding Awards 2021. After some passionate discussions and enthusiastic debates, our brilliant panel made up of Tesh Srivastava, Helene Panzarino, and Robert Johns, voted on their final decisions.

It has been a tough year for UK businesses, and we are glad we can celebrate the lenders who have been helping them through. As Helene rightly said; ‘We proved today that there is no truth to the rumour that we’ve lost the human element of financial services’

Unsecured Loan Lender of the Year: Market Finance

The Unsecured Loan Lender of the Year category ran a close race. Whilst Market Finance was crowned as the winner, it was especially tight with Credit4, due to Credit4’s personable approach to lending.

However, Market Finance pipped them to the post, and as Tesh said ‘Market Finance are on it in every aspect’. It was thought that alongside large volumes, Market Finance also offered excellent client service. Tesh stated that ‘given the volumes, and their aftercare, it has to be Market Finance’.

This is particularly shown by their Business Booster Fund which was launched in December and offers three innovative entrepreneurs a cash boost along with tailored business advice to help them for a strong 2021.

Congratulations to Market Finance for being crowned Unsecured Loan Lender of the Year 2021 by the SME Funding Awards 2021. 

Secured and Bridging Loan Lender of the Year: 4Syte Structured Finance

The panel came to a unanimous decision with the Secured and Bridging loan Lender of the Year winner. It was thought that 4Syte has had an impressive year and has managed to adapt to the climate of the pandemic well.

As put by Rob, ‘it has been an impressive year for 4Syte, especially with regard to the transferring of assets from Barclay’s portfolio’. The communication that 4Syte offers to their clients further puts them ahead of the competition here.

They use a common-sense underwriting approach which ensures their customer’s needs are closely prioritised. Tesh’s enthusiasm for the lender was apparent; ‘4Syte, 4eva!’

Congratulations to 4Syte on their award for Secured and Bridging Loan Lender of the Year by SME Funding Awards 2021.

Invoice Finance Lender of the Year: Ultimate Finance

The decision by the panel in deciding on Invoice Finance Lender of the Year ran another tight race. Bibby and Hitachi were both close contenders, however, ‘ultimately’ Ultimate Finance took the victory.

There were some interesting discussions around customer care especially. It was thought that Ultimate Finance went above and beyond to ensure that their customers were taken care of which. Helene thought that it ‘speaks volumes that Ultimate Finance have a 4.9 on their Trustpilot score’.

The panel came to the conclusion that Ultimate Finance had gone the extra mile this past year in looking after their clients, including hosting a range of webinars that offers information on government schemes or even providing wellbeing and mental health advice from experts.

Congratulations to Ultimate Finance on their award of Invoice Finance Lender of the Year by the SME Funding Awards 2021.

Asset Finance Lender of the Year: Amicus Asset Finance

The Asset Finance Lender of the Year was a category that brought up some interesting topics, especially about the type of lender who we wish to celebrate after a tough year within a pandemic. Whilst most of our nominated lenders have been lending CBILS this past year, the panel thought it would be befitting for the Asset Finance winner to be a non-CBILS lender.

Amicus has focused directly on asset finance this past year, and has shown an excellent spirit for their clients whilst doing so. Amicus has allowed their selves to be flexible and accommodating to their clients who were having a tough time. Rob aptly put it, ‘over the last year, it would seem that Amicus has been most useful to their clients.’ Amicus took the approach that each of the businesses that they help are run by committed and talented people, and therefore Amicus should always be able to help, where is possible.  

Rob went on to say that they ‘represent the lending of the friends and the people’. Helene then chimed this with an ode to Latin humour; ‘well if we are discussing friends; then it has to be Amicus’.

Congratulations to Amicus Asset Finance on their award of Asset Finance Lender of the Year by the SME Funding Awards 2021.

CBILS Lender of the Year: Market Finance

It has been a busy year for CBILS, with official figures showing that more than £23 billion of lending was approved by 98,344 lenders. Lenders across the board have managed the scale of demand during this unprecedented period excellently, and we want to celebrate that.

Based simply on volumes, Funding Circle ran a close race behind Market Finance. However, it was decided that due to Market Finance providing CBILS across multiple products, that they would take the win. The fact that they provided CBILS with both Term Loans and Revolving Credit Facilities, to name a few, really set them apart here.

They were committed to providing accessible CBILS with frictionless solutions. Tesh described the winner as ‘anecdotal, aftercare, with an active pursuit of deploying a human approach’. Rob labelled Market Finance a ‘leading premier fintech in the space.’

The use of tech is great, however, the alternative finance lenders who provide personable care, really take their platform to the next level. Tesh suggested that ‘in times of crisis, you need more than just tech’.

Congratulations to Market Finance on their award of CBILS Lender of the Year by the SME Funding Awards 2021.

Lender of the Year: Funding Circle

The award for Lender of the Year ran another close race taking into consideration the different attributes of each of the nominated lenders. However, it was decided, that in sheer volume and achievement over the past year, that Funding Circle would take the crown.

Helene aptly said that it would seem Funding Circle ‘didn’t miss a beat from last March to April this year’, and with their lending figures for 2020 showing over £2billion, this would certainly seem true.  As Tesh said, these ‘sheer volumes should be recognised’.

Funding Circle have provided a multifaceted lending approach and as Tesh said; ‘considering their general approach, Funding Circle have hit all the notes.’

Congratulations to Funding Circle on their award for Lender of the Year by the SME Funding Awards 2021.

Thank you to all our nominees, panellists and congratulations to our winners. Goodbye now until 2022!

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