More than half (59%) of consumers still do not know what crowdfunding is, according to research by P2P lender ArchOver.
The poll of more than 500 UK adults also suggests 56% would not invest via crowdfunding under any circumstances. A perceived lack of security is the main concern among potential investors. More than 9 in 10 said they would only consider putting money forward if the company was secured against its assets.
Almost two-thirds (63%) of consumers avoid external investments completely. They only invest in savings and avoid equities, gilts or any other investment routes. However, when those who were unfamiliar with crowdfunding were informed of the details, 24% said they would be willing to invest if loans were secured against a company’s assets.
ArchOver co-founder Brian Basham cited the 2008 recession as the main reason the UK public continue to be risk-averse with their money.
“Crowdfunding is growing as a source of funds for small business but public ignorance and risk aversion is holding back much potential investment,” he said. “However, the willingness to invest increases markedly when crowdfunding is understood and with the added comfort that the loans are both secured and insured.”
>See also: Top 10 crowdfunding platforms for businesses
Banks ‘should trust’ profitable SMEs
On the other end of the funding scale aspect.co.uk MD Will Davies has come out to say that RBS’s admission it mis-sold more than £2.3 million of small business loans is not surprising.
Davies worked in M&A for seven years at Societe Generale and says RBS is “failing to identify which companies are best to qualify for their scheme”. He added that aspect.co.uk has recently secured funding – but that other small businesses don’t always have the same chance.
“We have just been given a significant loan from HSBC to develop a larger office,” he said. “Certain companies struggling for finance and have great potential, but are falling short due to the lack of trust.
“HSBC knows us and our profit capabilities. RBS needs to start trusting small businesses and to start doing that, they need to not mislead budding entrepreneurs.”
Further reading: Everything you need to know about crowdfunding a UK small business