Missing Middle

Supporting businesses that have the biggest impact


The 'Missing Middle' are businesses that are the most significant contributors to economic and employment growth, but yet still struggle to access the fast, flexible debt finance they need to grow. Distinct from start-ups or micro businesses, the Missing Middle have developed productive and profitable business models, so by giving them access to finance, you enable them to scale and in doing so, improve productivity, employment and GDP growth across communities.

PI_Icons_DNA It's in our DNA ON was founded to address the middle market funding gap
PI_Icons_Leading Leading the way Lending to scale-ups and growth business drives economy
PI_Icons_Empower Empower your team Support relationship, risk and transaction managers

An underserved market, your next opportunity

Most banks' existing systems cannot support the bespoke loan structuring, granular analysis and 360-degree portfolio monitoring needed to manage loans to the Missing Middle efficiently. It is also cost-prohibitive to do so, meaning these businesses are starved of the capital they need to thrive and scale.

"The Missing Middle will play a vital role in the post-pandemic economic recovery, so it is essential that these businesses continue to receive the support from governments and financial institutions that they need."

Co-Founder and CEO, Oaknorth Bank

It’s in our DNA

In 2005, OakNorth's co-founders, Rishi Khosla and Joel Perlman, were looking for a working capital facility to support their growing business, Copal Partners, a financial research firm they'd founded three years previously. They approached numerous high-street banks in the UK where the business was headquartered and kept getting variations of the same response - "the computer says 'no'". Despite being a profitable business with strong cash flow and retained clients, none of the commercial banks were willing to lend to them. It was too small a ticket to offset the costs the bank would incur in doing a fundamental assessment of their business and structuring a finance facility for their needs. This experience of trying to secure a loan as a growing business stuck with them, so after Moody's acquired their business in 2014, they set out to address the Missing Middle funding gap.

Leading the way

Throughout COVID-19, regulators and governments supported scale-ups and growth businesses, understanding the positive multiplier effect these businesses have on communities and the economy. Through leveraging the ON Credit Intelligence Suite, banks are boosting this positive multiplier effect and demonstrating their commitment to the Missing Middle. 

Unlocking efficiency and empowering your team

Powered by the ON Credit Intelligence Suite, your Relationship, Risk and Transaction Managers can develop much deeper and more consultative relationships with borrowers, make immediate credit decisions, anticipate challenges and propose solutions. This in turn will help minimize defaults, drive growth, enhance the customer experience, and improve efficiency and profitability. 

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Missing Middle making headlines

In an interview with CNBC, OakNorth's co-founder, Rishi Khosla, explains how the unprecedented events of COVID-19 have made supporting the Missing Middle even more crucial.
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