Portuguese Banco BNI Europa and British fintech MarketInvoice have signed an agreement to offer UK SMEs invoice discounting worth in aggregate £45m annually.

The ‘digital only’ bank and the technology platform, said to be the world’s largest peer-to-peer online invoice finance marketplace, announced the “full commitment” deal after a £28m trial investment by BNI last year.

Funds advanced to UK businesses from institutional investors via MarketInvoice are said to have risen over the last three years from £96.1m to £176.2m. Since the Brexit vote in June 2016, global institutional investor investments in MarketInvoice have increased 34% while the level of funding from UK investors has remained constant.

“European institutions [are] propping up UK SMEs with working capital,” the tech firm said in its press release.

The recent increase in interest from global institutions has come since the launch of MarketInvoice Pro, a confidential invoice discounting facility launched in February. It offers businesses a funding line against their outstanding invoices.

“In 2015, we put in place a digital strategy to drive our investments through fintech platforms. This news is testament to how well it has worked for us,” BNI Europa executive chairman Pedro Coelho said.

“It is inevitable that banks will work more collaboratively with fintech businesses. I am firm believer of this and see much scope in the industry.”

Anil Stocker, CEO and co-founder of MarketInvoice said that, over the past two years, institutions have funded almost 60% of the working capital provided to UK businesses via MarketInvoice. “This new commitment from BNI is further proof of our ability to provide finance to high growth businesses across the country.”