Peer-to-peer lender involvement in the coronavirus business interruption loans scheme (CBILS) will still offer an opportunity for retail investors although they cannot fund the loans, JustUs founder Lee Birkett claims.
Funding Circle became the first peer-to-peer lender accredited for CBILS today (17 April) but has said loans will only be backed by institutional investment.
It is understood that the CBILS rules do not allow retail investment in the loans.
Birkett said there is little benefit for investors initially anyway as the first year is interest free. Furthermore, some borrowers will not be eligible for the scheme so will apply for other types of P2P loans that retail investors can then fund, he explained.
“CBILS in interest free for a year so it is not really an investor play,” he said.
“P2P lenders are just an efficient gateway to get the money to borrowers.
“We have self-invested personal pensions and small self-administered schemes that will be able to take part.
“Those borrowers who don’t qualify will still be able to go through our normal opportunities which retail investors can then back.”
Birkett added that he has queried the status of his platform’s application for accreditation given that Starling Bank was approved within two weeks and JustUs has now been waiting a similar amount of time.