The British Business Bank (BBB) is not ready to start assessing new lenders wishing to join the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), more than a week after the emergency measure was announced.
The scheme was unveiled as part of Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s £350bn package to help smaller businesses that are struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.
The state-backed development bank will be providing funding to smaller businesses via its accredited lenders, which include high street banks.
But Peer2Peer Finance News has learnt that prospective lenders trying to apply to the scheme are still waiting to start the accreditation process.
In an email exchange seen by P2PFN, the BBB told one interested lender that it was not quite ready to roll out the CBILS accreditation process but would be contacting all enquiring lenders soon.
An industry source blasted the pace of the BBB’s accreditation, noting that CBILS is meant to be an emergency measure and thus should be rolled out quickly.
“Now the scheme has launched, accrediting new partners is our immediate next priority,” a BBB spokesperson told P2PFN. “We have put in place additional resources to assist with processing applications we receive from new lenders as quickly as possible.
“We have a new area on our website for prospective lenders with details on the accreditation process.”
There have been calls for the government to expand the scheme to alternative lenders to save businesses.
RateSetter chief Rhydian Lewis noted that “lending processes at the leading P2P platforms are seen by many as more efficient to some bigger traditional lending” and has suggested they could help distribute much-needed funds to small businesses at this time.