OpenRep™ is a cloud-based Fintech platform architected for commercial lenders primarily lending in the SME sector. The OpenRep™ platform is designed to appeal to both domestic UK and international lenders scaling internationally using public cloud technology.
The OpenRep™ platform is designed to provide the following key benefits to its end users, such as retail banks, challenger banks, specialist lenders etc.:
- Automate routine relationship management functions utilising algorithmic logic and AI to identify:
- Potential risks with accounts in the loan book;
- New business opportunity and upsides.
- Reduce delinquency and losses with unique risk management functionality.
- Scale capability of existing relationship management functions.
OpenRep™ provides a data-driven automated financial dashboard populated with unique SME endpoint data and additional relevant third-party industry data. OpenRep™ can customise the presentation of this data based on the specific requirements of each customer, typically a commercial lender.
In brief, OpenRep™ uses cloud-based accounting technology to extract key financial data on behalf of the lender from its borrowers in lieu of regular management accounts. This data can be extracted daily, weekly or monthly via APIs, with individual SME performance metrics and sector aggregated metrics trended, analysed and ranked in a dashboard for relationship managers.
Each-users dashboard is updated in near real time. Alerts can be set up to inform users of key events or triggers, which may warrant closer monitoring or management action (based on risk appetite).
Proactive remedial actions can be instigated for accounts with negative performance metrics. Whereas, upside sales opportunities can be initiated for strongly performing SMEs.
A smarter lending approach enables proactive management through which lenders can work far more closely with their SME customers, anticipating potential problems and working with the SME to mitigate or avoid their impact via flexible solutions or better advice and proactive support.
OpenRep™ enables new loan pricing strategies to be modelled, tested and then rolled out using new risk derived methodologies.
Risk-based pricing performance can be monitored and adjusted in real time across a portfolio, sector or cohort, informing better lending decisions for both new and existing customers. Performance data can be incorporated into scorecards in order to screen new applicants.
Benefits of OBR’s OpenRep™ to Banks, Lenders & SMEs
As a unique automated data-driven platform, OpenRep™ will deliver significant operational and fiscal benefits for our customers.
SME Banks and Alternative Lenders:
✓ OpenRep™ could save lenders between 0.5% and 1.0% of their current loan book impairments within the SME sector.
✓ Operational efficiency improvements afforded by OpenRep™ technology could see 30-40% increased efficiency in managing their SME relationships and credit risk.
✓ New business opportunities are easier to identify across portfolios, with the best performing businesses and customers based on past and future financial trends.
✓ New lending products can be developed where the best risk management capability is in place. This may manifest as reduced rate products, on-demand overdraft facility, and higher leverage on creditor factoring, proactive cash flow services for over traders etc., resulting in new features in basic or advanced business accounts.
✓ Improved customer retention as 50% of business borrowers borrow again. SME Business borrowers.
SME’s enrolled into the OpenRep™ service could benefit from:
✓ Improved lending rates: discount products for loans, overdraft, structured finance, factoring etc…
✓ Improved credit ratings (provided by their bank).
✓ Improved support from their bank: manifesting in automated decision making, expedited manualdecision making.
✓ Reduced management time spent on reporting demands.
✓ Improved management reporting as a value-added service.
✓ Reduced need for personal guarantees and other security.
In summary, a Bank could reduce its credit risk exposure and gain increased management control over its loan book with near real-time access to a SMEs financial data and the predictive analysis and reporting offered by OpenRep™. OBR believe that Banks would offer improved lending terms for access to this data. In turn, an SME could meet their reporting covenants and benefit from improved support from their Bank, as well as a potentially better interest rate or lower administration fee.
Banks would also benefit by encouraging SMEs that are new account applicants to enrol in the OpenRep™ platform, regardless of being a borrower or not.
SME Start-ups – potential benefits to Bank
SME start-up business account applicants often have little experience and have no credit history. Companies are unlikely to be able to obtain a business loan without demonstrating a two-year trading history.
This makes unsecured lending or other lending models more of a challenge. OpenRep™ provides relationship managers the visibility needed to support new businesses in this key early stage.
Start-ups, if successful, are often constrained primarily by cash flow issues. Subject to a strong underlying business, Relationship Managers have some good upside opportunities supporting new business to develop and build longer term relationships with their bank of choice.
Presented with concise analysis, this information ensures the Relationship Manager is always informed and notified if a new start up requires intervention either to minimize potential losses or to capitalise on an upside opportunity. We see this opportunity as a fundamental benefit to both the lender and the SME, to support future borrowing. Client retention is more likely because transparency often leads to better lasting relationships, based on value and trust.
SME Start-ups – potential benefits to SME
- Potential to obtain a business loan at a much earlier stage.
- Have a loan or other funding agreed much quicker.
- Improved credit ratings (provided by their bank) to aid trade credit.
- Improved support from their bank: manifesting in automated decision making, expedited manualdecision making.
- Improved management reporting as a value-added service.
- Reduced need for personal guarantees and other security.
Summary of Market Research
CBS Consulting have carried out market research and a review of the OBR proposition, including desktop and face to face research with one of the UK’s leading banks and a prominent challenger bank. The outcome of this research showed that there is both an opportunity for this proposition and strong appetite among UK Banks.
Key findings were:
- Current outstanding loan book exposure of UK banks is £157 billion.
- There are on average 72,000 structured new loans authorised, and 30,000 overdrafts approved toSME’s per quarter.
- Most loan terms are between 5 to 10 Years.
- The major bank surveyed employ 500 relationship managers to manage SME business.
- 50% of SME’s that borrow from their banks return to borrow again.
- The current level of reported losses (under IRB) and associated impairments suffered by the big-5banks are around 3% of their loan portfolio (double the impairment of both the Corporate and Consumer sectors). This impairment significantly impacts profitability and their balance sheets. Reducing lending losses below the typical 3% impairment will have a significant impact on the bottom line of a lender.
- Branch closures have impacted the historical direct relationships needed in B2B lending. Relationship managers are often too remote to the businesses, lacking local or sector experience. They have too many accounts, too little current information and struggle to prioritize. Decision making can be adversely affected.
- Most lending comes with a covenant to provide timely management reports. This is rarely maintained and is a manual complex process to administer.
- Cloud accounting is growing in popularity among SME businesses in the UK. The trend is driven by convenience and efficiency savings for some, and by a necessity to comply with the UK’s ‘Making Tax Digital’ initiative for others. Accountancy consultancy firm Pantalitix published figures indicating that 90% of SME companies will move their accounting processes to the cloud by 2020.
- Recent changes in insolvency regulation allowing HMRC to rank second and above the banks in their claim over the assets of a company in liquidation. This places the bank in an invidious position of responsibility to act to preserve those assets.
- Face to Face Discussions were conducted with an SME Relationship Manager (RM) from the Royal Bank of Canada. It was confirmed that each RM was responsible for approximately 300 SME Clients and approximately 8% of which presented problems.
- The credit rating of SME’s has been adversely affected by the reduction in required financial information made available due to the filing of short form accounts without the need for an audit. Lenders and Trade Creditors have found it costly to acquire the relevant financial data.
Chairman (David McCreadie)
Highly respected Financial Services industry leader and senior Banking Executive, with over 30 years’ industry experience and a proven track record in establishing new banking propositions and successfully taking them to market, in both the UK and US. Before joining OBR, David was Managing Director and an Executive Director of Tesco Bank and prior to that was Chief Executive of a joint venture start-up, Kroger Personal Finance, based in Cincinnati.
Eddie Curran (CBS Consulting)
An experienced business and technology leader, with over 24 years industry experience gained across Banking, Insurance and Investment Management sectors within the UK and US.
Eddie previously held technical and senior management positions at IBM and Ernst & Young, before starting his own successful business consultancy in 2006.
Eddie specialise in strategy execution and change management and has led some of the largest IT transformations and new platform developments within the UK, including the launch of the UKs first software-as-a-service Banking platform, and the development of an online only bank now owned by Santander.
Michael Joseph (ActivPlan Ltd)
A serial entrepreneur that started his first company, a freight forwarding business, at the age of 22. Michael owned this company for 17 years, employing 60 people at 4 locations within the UK. He has also formed a number of other companies. One of these companies was the best performing company in the UK funded by the Small Firms Loan Guarantee Scheme and achieved a Queens Award for Exports.