Round-up: AltFi London Summit

Growth Street was delighted to be present for a packed day of discussions at the Altfi London Summit on March 18th.

We were looking forward to new insights into the state of alternative finance, and what the next 12 months might hold for bank and non-bank finance firms. We weren’t disappointed.

We heard about Zopa’s ambition to bring together banking and P2P products on one platform from P2P CEO Natasha Wear. It was fascinating to hear how Zopa has built its loan book north of £1bn through a variety of different channels: Natasha repeatedly drew on the importance of trust in building long-term relationships, something that has helped Zopa as the oldest P2P provider in the UK.

One enjoyable feature was AltFi’s question submission format, wherein questions ventured by the audience were thrown up live on the big screen. It proved an engaging way to focus speakers’ minds!

Attendees also benefited from insights into the next steps for digital banking in a conversation featuring Curve CEO Shachar Bialick, Bud’s Head of Implementations James Perry and Starling Bank CEO Anne Boden. We heard views on whether the big banks have the capability to become API-first businesses, and what the ‘great unbundling’ of Open Banking might do for customers in 12-24 months time.

Later on, the relationship between business customers and finance brokers came into focus. Are alternative funders a last resort for brokers who can’t place a deal with high-street banks? Not according to the alternative credit roundtable panel: guest speakers suggested that informed borrowers will look for a good deal at an affordable rate, no matter whether it’s with a bank or a non-bank finance provider.

Thanks to all at AltFi for a superb knowledge-filled day! We can’t wait for the next edition.

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