Bibby Financial Services has joined (ABF), a website listing businesses which offer SMEs an alternative to bank-backed asset finance.

A release said that ABF launched in 2014, and facilitates referrals for businesses declined by banks.

The site has had 30,000 SME visits in two years, with 16,000 clicks through to a funder. ABF says ‘several thousand’ SMEs have run business through the site.

A bank referral scheme was introduced as part of the UK government’s Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act, which received Royal Assent in April 2015.

ABF founder, Adam Tavener, is now aiming for the site to be designated as one of the UK government’s preferred finance platforms which will be managed through the British Business Bank.

Other competitor platforms include, run by the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers, and the raft of p2p platforms that have grown up in the last four years.

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David Postings, chief executive for BFS, said: "Anything that improves access to finance for SMEs is positive, but it is also important that businesses can find the right kind of funding.

"People often refer to new forms of funding when talking of alternative finance, however, the UK has had a healthy alternative to traditional lending for a number of years in the form of asset based finance.

Adam Tavener said: "There has been a significant step-change in attitudes towards funding and many businesses are now turning to alternative forms of finance, such as asset based finance, before speaking with their banks."