CANADIAN LENDERS ASSOCIATION & INNOVATIVE LENDING PLATFORM ASSOCIATION LAUNCH SMART BOX IN CANADA
Seven Canadian Lenders commit to adopt landmark transparency tool
Toronto, Canada, and Washington, D.C., October 26, 2017 – The Canadian Lenders Association (CLA) and the Innovative Lending Platform Association (ILPA) today announced the introduction of the SMART Box™ into Canada – a model pricing disclosure and comparison tool that will enable Canadian small businesses to better assess and compare their finance options. Top small business lenders in the country, including Company Capital, Evolocity Financial Group, IOU Financial, Lendified, Merchant Advance Capital, OnDeck® and Thinking Capital, have committed to adopt the tool for use by their customers.
The SMART Box was introduced by the ILPA in the United States in October 2016 in response to a need for common language and standardization in pricing disclosure in small business finance. It includes clear and consistent pricing metrics, metric calculations, and metric explanations to help small businesses understand and assess the costs of their finance options. The SMART Box was developed in consultation with key small business stakeholders, including lending platforms, policymakers, not-for-profit organizations, small business owners, and small business advocates. In the U.S., it has been adopted by OnDeck, Kabbage®, Breakout Capital and Enova International’s The Business Backer™.
The CLA and ILPA partnered together to adapt the SMART Box to the Canadian market. The CLA will encourage its members interested in promoting the responsible development of the small business lending industry in Canada to voluntarily adopt the model disclosure in their loan documentation. “The CLA is excited to partner with the ILPA to launch the SMART Box into Canada,” said Gary Schwartz, the President of the CLA. “The SMART Box streamlines and standardizes pricing disclosures, allowing small business owners to compare loan products on an ‘apples-to-apples’ basis. We believe this innovative initiative promotes increased transparency in the small business lending marketplace.”
“The SMART Box is focused on empowering small businesses to better assess, understand, and compare finance options,” said Scott Stewart, CEO of the Innovative Lending Platform Association. “At its heart, the CLA and ILPA partnership is focused on the success of American and Canadian small businesses. We believe that the SMART Box is a valuable tool to help expand informed access to capital in a transparent and responsible way. I am excited to begin work together.”
Michael E. Burke, a partner at Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP and board member of the CLA, said, “The SMART Box presents pricing metrics that are important to small businesses when assessing their financing options, such as the annual percentage rate (APR), the total cost of credit, and cents on the dollar. CLA membership believes the SMART Box will help promote a more transparent and open approach to small business lending in Canada as it has done in the U.S.”
More details on the SMART Box can be found at: www.innovativelending.org/smart-box/
About the Canadian Lenders Association
The Canadian Lenders Association (CLA) supports the growth of companies in the Canadian market that are in the business of lending, or providing other means of credit, to small businesses and individuals by non-conventional or innovative means to exchange ideas and explore ways of improving the sector; encourage principled and professional practices by innovative lenders; educate the public at large about innovative lending; encourage individual potential borrowers to be informed about the appropriateness of innovative lending to the borrowers’ circumstance; and to advocate on behalf of, and represent the interests of innovative lenders. www.cla-apc.org
About the ILPA
The Innovative Lending Platform Association (ILPA) is a leading trade organization representing a diverse group of online lending and service companies serving small businesses. United by a shared commitment to the health and success of small businesses in America, the ILPA is dedicated to advancing best practices and standards that support responsible innovation and access to capital for small businesses. The ILPA, in partnership with the Association for Enterprise Opportunity, launched a model small business pricing disclosure called SMART (Straightforward Metrics around Rate and Total cost) Box. The SMART Box™ is focused on empowering small businesses to better assess and compare finance options. Additional information about the ILPA and the SMART Box initiative are available at: www.innovativelending.org.
Jim Larkin for the ILPA
Gary Schwartz for the CLA