• Commonwealth Bank to identify and refer small business clients
  • Australian lender says partnership to start in early 2016

Small-business lender On Deck Capital Inc. will receive customer referrals from Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the continent’s largest lender, under a partnership starting early next year.

Commonwealth Bank will identify and send suitable small businesses to On Deck for loans, the Sydney-based company said in an e-mailed statement. The New York-based startup has carved a niche of offering credit quickly.

This is the second major partnership this month for On Deck, which sold shares to the public last year. JPMorgan Chase & Co. said Dec. 1 that it wanted to speed the process of providing loans to some of its 4 million small-business customers through an arrangement with the startup. On Deck’s stock surged 28 percent the next day.

More large financial firms are working with online startups that were set up less than a decade ago to bypass banks by matching borrowers with individuals who wanted to fund them. While some banks use the platforms to make loans cheaper and faster, others just make the ventures’ products available to their customers.

“Our goal is to provide an alternative lending solution for small businesses, and we believe these partnerships will help us reach and serve them,” On Deck Chief Executive Officer Noah Breslow said in an e-mailed statement. On Deck closed at $9.42 a share in New York on Wednesday.

The partnership “provides an opportunity to meet more of our small business customer needs,” Clive van Horen, Commonwealth Bank’s head of small business and retail banking services, said in the statement.

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