Josh Greenway 2015 Winner
Josh Greenway's experience of Young Banker of the Year
“I decided to enter the competition with a proposal that I thought would challenge the status quo. The competition has been a great opportunity to promote an idea I feel passionately about and to pitch it to key players in the industry"
Highlighting that business lending criteria is not currently shared with small- and medium- sized enterprises, Josh argued that there are no online lending calculators to show SMEs how much they can borrow, and this lack of transparency limits their propensity to plan, borrow and grow.
“With only 13% of SMEs trusting banks, and banks becoming increasingly transparent in recent years to rebuild this trust, there was an opportunity for more transparency for SMEs looking to grow,” he says.
Placing himself in the shoes of the borrower, he presented the scenario of a business owner going to the trouble of submitting an application for credit, only to be told a few weeks later that it hasn’t met the bank’s affordability criteria. “With no explanation offered, this process can leave the applicant feeling angry and confused,” Josh explains
Comparing the scenario to that of an alternative situation, where the business owner uses a iPad to login to the bank’s website or app, Josh says: “Imagine how different the outcome could be if after typing a few figures from your financial accounts into a business lending calculator you have an answer on how much you can borrow – all within 10 minutes and from the comfort of your own front room?”
From this, he proposed a simple idea which “has the potential to transform the way in which SMEs interact with lenders”, through a low-cost, low-risk, low-tech process that could be implemented in a matter of weeks.
Therefore, to make the bank’s lending criteria simple, clear and accessible, an online calculator will be able to generate a loan amount that may be affordable based on the bank’s lending criteria. Simple inputs would be required from a business’s finalised accounts to enable this.
As well as covering off the potential risks, Josh outlined key benefits for three core groups – SMEs, Our communities and the Bank.
- Clarity – businesses will be clearer about bank lending criteria.
- Confidence – businesses will be more confident to approach the bank.
- Growth – with better access to finance, businesses are more likely to grow.
- Employment – as businesses grow they will employ more local people.
- Economic growth – growth of local business will benefit the local economy
- Applications – more confident SMEs will mean more lending applications.
- Approval rates – SMEs will be able to self-assess, meaning higher quality bank applications.
- Trust – more transparent lending criteria will lead to more trust from SMEs.
Josh concluded by outlining that the industry needs to earn the trust of the customers it serves. “I believe this idea will empower SMEs to plan, grow and ultimately restore their trust in the bank. It has been a great platform to share my vision for how I think we can better support SMEs.”
Find out more about Young Banker of the Year 2019.