More and more businesses are looking to alternative forms of external funding to finance their business cashflow according to new research. Commercial lending from non-bank institutions, including invoice finance and peer-to-peer lenders increased markedly over the last five years, whilst traditional bank lenders saw volumes lent dip by approximately 25% since 2011. Small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which account for 99% of all private sector businesses, were funded by £17.4bn by asset based lenders (including invoice finance) alone in the year to June, according to the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB). NACFB are due to meet with MPs and the British Bankers Association (BBA) next Monday to discuss alternative finance and its increasing popularity amongst UK enterprise. A BBA spokesman said: “While banks are open for business there are other ways to get finance. Bank finance is not always right for companies.”Andy Grantham, SBF Sales & Marketing Director, said: “Here at SBF, we are able to fund a diverse range of businesses that may struggle to access finance from the usual sources”. “We like to look at the quality of the product/service and people behind a business when making a decision on whether to fund it, rather than using rigid system-style scorecards”, he commented.