NatWest has joined a scheme which allows companies to be referred to other lenders for financing, according to the Financial Times.

The customer referral scheme brings together banks and alternative lenders, and allows lenders to refer businesses they reject to others that may fund them.

NatWest has partnered with Iwoca and Together in order to help secure funding for businesses that do not fulfil its lending criteria.

This agreement builds on NatWest’s partnership with Funding Circle and Assetz Capital in 2015, which came after the UK government proposed measures for banks to help customers find other sources of funding.

Alison Rose, chief executive of commercial and private banking at NatWest told the FT that the bank sought to widen access to finance, regardless of whether the businesses were funded by them.

James Meekings, a co-founder of Funding Circle, told the FT: “Millions of pounds has already been lent to businesses through our referral partnership. By helping business access fast finance, the bank is able to retain or even win customers, which in turn helps the UK economy to grow.”