Peer-to-peer lenders are looking at ways they can help deliver coronavirus interruption business loans, but it is unclear if they would be accepted as partners.
The British Business Bank (BBB) has said that any lenders can apply to be accredited to provide the loans under the scheme as long as they can meet the criteria, but it is initially focusing on getting existing partners setup.
Peer2Peer Finance News is aware of several major P2P lenders that are looking at ways they can be involved. One is RateSetter.
Read more: P2P lenders await coronavirus loans clarity
“RateSetter does business lending in its own verticals such as property and asset finance and we are open to looking at the coronavirus loans,” said Rhydian Lewis, chief executive of RateSetter.
The current application guidance to become an accredited BBB lender under the scheme is loosely based on the enterprise guarantee loans and explicitly excludes P2P lenders.
However, Lewis suggested the current environment could override this.
A spokesman for BBB confirmed reports in The Times, which quoted chief executive Keith Morgan as saying the next step is to widen distribution.
“The priority has been to get the scheme up and running with existing partners,” a BBB spokesman said.
“We have an accreditation process for which people have to meet the criteria.”
There are already 40 accredited BBB lenders, including both banking and other alternative lenders.
Firms must meet certain requirements such as having a strong track record and sufficient capacity to assess and fund loans.