THE BRITISH Business Bank has opened up its ENABLE Guarantee programme to non-bank lenders, including asset-based lending providers.
Under the programme, the UK government takes on a portion of the lender’s risk on a portfolio of loans to smaller businesses, in return for a fee. The state-backed development bank has so far committed guarantees of more than £900m under the programme.
The programme was previously only open to UK banks and UK branches of foreign banks. The extension means that a broader range of smaller finance providers, including asset finance and asset-based lending providers, are now eligible.
“Our ENABLE guarantee programme helps smaller businesses in the UK access the right funding by supporting a wide range of lending products,” said Reinald de Monchy, managing director, guarantee and wholesale solutions at the British Business Bank.
“This extension to the programme will increase the range of options available and help more UK smaller businesses to access the finance they need to prosper and grow.”
Small Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst said that the expansion of the scheme’s eligibility “reflects the changed landscape for business finance”.
“Thanks to the innovation of our world-leading fintech sector, finance markets for smaller businesses are more diverse than ever before,” she added. “Extending the ENABLE guarantee to lenders other than banks will help the growth of new entrants and new products, providing greater choice and competition for small- and medium-sized enterprises.”