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The Future of Small Business Lending

In this report, we provide a summary of findings from our recent market research study on small business lending, which focused on the lending process and the challenges associated with banks’ credit risk assessments. This report provides an overview of small business lending today, discusses challenges and emerging trends, and provides recommendations for addressing the challenges to create a more streamlined and automated lending process.

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In a recent market research study focused on challenges of small business lending and credit risk assessment by banks, Moody’s Analytics concluded that emerging technology, innovative use of data, and expectations of an enhanced borrower experience will drive significant change in small business lending in the coming years.

The study was based on interviews with traditional lenders and emerging players in the financial technology (fintech) space on how they segment their business customers, the processes they use to evaluate credit worthiness of small businesses, and the challenges with these processes. Findings from the interviews were complemented by secondary industry research; insights from participation in banking, fintech, and small business events; and ongoing engagement with Moody’s Analytics customers.

The study had these objectives:

  • Provide perspective on the current state of small business lending processes.
  • Evaluate the trends affecting small business lending.
  • Identify the challenges faced by banks and other financial institutions during the lending process.
  • Assess the small business credit information market, including tools and solutions employed by lenders to evaluate the creditworthiness of their customers and prospects.
  • Define a future state vision for efficient and profitable small business lending.

In this report, we provide a summary view of our findings based on this research.