JustUs founder Lee Birkett has urged the government to work with fintech platforms to deliver a solution to the problems with the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme (CBILS).
The peer-to-peer lending boss has submitted a proposal to the British Business Bank and the Treasury about how fintech platforms can deliver finance quicker to the businesses that need it.
The proposal calls for a self-declared application for up to 25 per cent of 2019 revenues, to a maximum of £50,000, for any sole trader or small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) with HMRC identification.
A simple one-page online application is all that’s required, which would trigger a one-page e-signature credit agreement, Birkett said. Loans could be disbursed within 24 hours from application.
The other element of the proposal relates to loans of £50,000 to £5m.
A Financial Conduct Authority-regulated financial adviser or chartered accountant can verify 2019 revenues and cashflows from before Covid-19 and apply for up to 25 per cent of revenues.
Once verified, this would trigger a one-page e-signature credit agreement and loans could be disbursed within 48 hours from application.
“A conflict exists between banks protecting shareholders and serving the people and businesses of the country,” said Birkett in an open letter to the government.
“It’s shameful the way they are currently operating in these troubling times and the people will not forget.
“Unless the non-bank fintech platforms are able to access the CBILS scheme for the people and SMEs urgently, with a 100 per cent government guarantee, millions of jobs will be lost and a generation of innovation destroyed.
“The Great British fintech platforms can deliver a CBILS solution now and at scale with government in partnership with the people.
“The people of this country are willing to lend their money to other people, let’s work together with ‘the people’s government’ to make it happen and fast.”
This follows previous letters from Birkett urging the Treasury to allow P2P lenders to facilitate emergency funds to businesses, and for rule changes to allow platforms to offer residential mortgages.