Pressure is growing on the government to include peer-to-peer lenders in the coronavirus business loans scheme (CBILS).
Business finance broker Rangewell has written an open letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak to include fintechs in CBILS because mainstream lenders cannot cope with the volume of applications.
Rangewell named Funding Circle, LendingCrowd, MarketFinance and ThinCats as lenders that should be included in the scheme, as they already provide funding to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The financial intermediary said that high street banks and mainstream lenders have told the firm that they are already swamped with applications and will not be able to deal with the large number of SMEs who will need to access the scheme.
“Britain has the most active and diversified range of lenders in the world, many of whom emerged from the last financial crisis,” Rangewell said in the letter.
“These lenders, and many others like them, already work alongside government agencies to diversify the source of funding to British SMEs and they want to help and support SMEs through the CBILS scheme.
“We are calling on you to widen the lenders who can access the scheme with immediate effect.
“Britain’s fintech lenders are world leaders and have rightfully been lauded and supported by successive governments.
“It would be remiss to not incorporate such expertise and resources into the CBILS – they stand ready to help – you should accept their offers as quickly as possible.”
The open letter comes just after Peer2Peer Finance News exclusively revealed that the British Business Bank is still not ready to accredit new lenders for CBILS. An industry source privately criticised the pace at which the state development bank is working to onboard new lenders, arguing that the scheme is an emergency measure and should be implemented rapidly.