China capital curbs reflect buyer’s remorse over market reforms

Last year the reformist head of China’s central bank convinced his Communist party bosses to give market forces a bigger say in setting the renminbi’s daily “reference rate” against the US dollar. In return, Zhou Xiaochuan assured his more conservative party colleagues that the redback would finally secure coveted recognition as an official reserve currency […]

Continue Reading

Capital Markets

Mnuchin expected to be Trump’s Treasury secretary

Donald Trump has chosen Steven Mnuchin as his Treasury secretary, US media outlets reported on Tuesday, positioning the former Goldman Sachs banker to be the latest Wall Street veteran to receive a top administration post. Mr Mnuchin chairs both Dune Capital Management and Dune Entertainment Partners and has been a longtime business associate of Mr […]

Continue Reading


Financial system more vulnerable after Trump victory, says BoE

The US election outcome has “reinforced existing vulnerabilities” in the financial system, the Bank of England has warned, adding that the outlook for financial stability in the UK remains challenging. The BoE said on Wednesday that vulnerabilities that were already considered “elevated” have worsened since its last report on financial stability in July, in the […]

Continue Reading


China stock market unfazed by falling renminbi

China’s renminbi slump has companies and individuals alike scrambling to move capital overseas, but it has not damped the enthusiasm of China’s equity investors. The Shanghai Composite, which tracks stocks on the mainland’s biggest exchange, has been gradually rising since May. That is the opposite of what happened in August 2015 after China’s surprise renminbi […]

Continue Reading


Hard-hit online lender CAN Capital makes executive changes

The biggest online lender to small businesses in the US has pulled down the shutters and put its top managers on a leave of absence, in the latest blow to an industry grappling with mounting fears over credit quality. Atlanta-based CAN Capital said on Tuesday that it had replaced a trio of senior executives, after […]

Continue Reading

Categorized | Banks

Santander UK partners with Crowdfunder

Posted on October 4, 2016

FILE - In this Dec. 14, 2015 file picture people walk past a Santander bank, in New York. Spanish bank Santander has suffered a legal blow in its long-running row with a German rival over the use of the color red. Germany's Federal Court of Justice ruled Thursday July 21, 2016 that the country's publicly-owned Sparkassen are entitled to keep their trademark for a shade of red called HKS 13. Santander ‚Äî which uses the slightly darker HKS 14 ‚Äî has been trying for six years to get the German Patent and Trademark Office to delete its rivals' trademark. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan,file)©AP

Santander UK has struck a partnership with an alternative finance company to fund social enterprises in a deal that marks the first tie-up between a large British high-street bank and an equity crowdfunding site.

The bank is joining forces with Crowdfunder to provide £200,000 to community projects, charities and enterprises that are focused on social change across the UK.

    Santander will donate half the funding target of a project once it raises 50 per cent from the public online.

    The partnership further closes the gap between mainstream and alternative finance, and paves the way for closer collaboration between high-street lenders and the crowdfunding sector.

    The deal is the latest in a series of tie-ups that Santander has forged in the alternative finance and “fintech” space.

    The bank partnered with Funding Circle in 2014, to refer small business customers seeking loans to the peer-to-peer lender when the bank was unable to serve them.

    The deal with Crowdfunder is different from peer-to-peer platforms, which enable people to lend in return for interest. Equity crowdfunding raises money from the public who each gain a share in the company.

    In the case of Crowdfunder, investors can take a stake in a local project to gain a vote on how it is run, and might gain a small return, while Santander’s funding is a donation.

    Phil Geraghty, managing director of Crowdfunder, said the partnership “offers long-term economic impacts by supporting social enterprises alongside the immediate benefits of helping people make their great ideas happen”.

    The move by Santander to tie up with alternative finance platforms is part of a broader strategy to grow its SME business. The bank has entered talks with Royal Bank of Scotland over acquiring Williams & Glyn, the small business and retail-focused bank that RBS must divest as a condition of receiving a state bailout of £45bn in 2008.

    Sue Douthwaite, managing director of Santander Business Banking, said: “Our purpose is to help people and businesses prosper and we recognise the important role social enterprises and charities play in helping communities to thrive.

    “With the power of the crowd, our £200,000 Changemaker Fund will help bring great ideas to life and enable social enterprises and community ventures to grow.”

    Partnering with alternative finance platforms provides Santander with nimble technology to offer superior services to small business.

    Earlier this year, Santander tied up with US online lender Kabbage, as a way to provide funding to small businesses in a matter of hours. Kabbage, in which Santander invests through its fintech venture capital fund, speeds up the underwriting process so businesses can potentially access working capital of up to £100,000 online on the same day.