Lending Guide and Appeal Process

If your finance application is turned down, don’t give up on funding – you can appeal the decision or explore other options.

Submitting your finance application

Before applying for finance, you should always consider what type of lending is the best option for your business, and whether you can afford to repay any money you borrow: We will assess your ability to repay before we make any decision.

Applications require additional information and supporting documents, so always check what you need to supply with your application. The checklist below will help to ensure you have completed your application in full, in order to give us all the information we need to consider your request. 

Outline what you need:

  • State how much you would like to borrow – we need to quantify your request
  • State why you would like the finance – so we can check it is for a suitable business purpose and decide which type of finance best suits your needs
  • State how long you would like the finance for – we need to know the term of the loan to help assess affordability and ensure the right finance is suggested for your business needs

Information you may need to provide:

  • Business plan
  • Cash flow forecast
  • Historic accounts
  • Management accounts
  • Assets

Further information that will help your application:

  • Profile of the owner and/or management team – this helps the bank assess your capabilities
  • The owner’s investment in the business – this shows the owner’s investment relative to the bank’s proposed investment
  • Whether or not security is available – this shows whether you have security to support your proposal
  • Other business interests – this allows the bank to assess any other commitments you have

Getting to know your business

Whether you’re a new business that needs start-up funding, or a growing company that needs the funds for expansion, any application for finance involves building up a picture of your personal and business circumstances combined with your financial history. This is a critical part of assessing the business and will often be used alongside your business plan and cash flow projections. 

If your application is declined

If your application is declined, we will confirm the reasons why, in writing. Your relationship contact will talk with you and explain why your application has been declined, and they will discuss any alternative options with you.

If you are unhappy with the decision that has been made, you have the right to appeal and you can talk to your relationship contact about how to go about this. If you decide to go ahead with the appeal, you should do this within 30 days of receiving formal confirmation of your decline.  

How do I appeal?

You can either submit the appeal directly to your relationship contact, or complete the Santander online appeal form accessible from Better Business Finance website. Your appeal form will be forwarded to Santander; and any information you supply will be subject to the data protection protocols. 

The appeals process

Appeals are dealt with promptly and taken seriously: when an appeal is raised, the decision will be reviewed by a second person from within the bank who was not involved in the original decision. Santander will consider all the information originally provided and ask for more where we think it is necessary. We don’t want to keep you waiting for a decision, which is why the result of the appeal will be communicated to you in writing within 30 days.

If lending is still declined after an appeal, Santander will provide information on alternative sources of finance that may be more appropriate or provide support in another form, such as putting you in touch with a business mentor.

How do we know the appeals process works?

An external Independent Reviewer – Professor Russell Griggs – will oversee the appeals process and will be supported by a team of external auditors.

Alternative sources of finance*

In addition to business loans, there is a wide range of financial products now available to help businesses access the funding needed to grow and thrive.

  • Better Business Finance provides impartial general information and support to business customers looking to raise finance. 
  • Business Finance for You brings into one place a wide range of finance providers across Britain – including business angels, regional funds and government schemes – enabling businesses to search more easily for the type of finance they require. 
  • The Start Up Loans company is a government-funded initiative that provides start-up support in the form of a repayable loan, together with a business mentor for entrepreneurs across England and Northern Ireland. 
  • Crowdcube helps start-up and growing businesses to raise business finance via their equity crowd-funding platform. 
  • Funding Circle is an online portal that provides loans by allowing individual investors to lend money directly to small businesses. 
  • Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) are social enterprises that provide financial loans to individuals and businesses within local communities.
  • Mentors Me provide interested parties with a single, easy-to-use search engine to locate free mentor services to small businesses.

*The links to funding advice are not exhaustive. Information on links to third party websites is provided solely for your convenience. If you use these links, we do not control and are not responsible for these websites or content. Any further application for lending and subsequent decision will solely be at the discretion of each organisation.

Note: for debt advice please contact the Business Debtline on 0800 1976026 or for more information about this service visit their website www.bdl.org.uk.

Where Next?

Suitable for

  • SMEs thinking of applying for finance for growth
  • Businesses that have had applications declined.

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