Funding Circle has announced that digital bank Starling will lend £300m to small firms through its platform, under the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme (CBILS).
The peer-to-peer business lender said that the new strategic partnership aims to further increase the flow of funds available to small firms during the coronavirus crisis, using the government-backed emergency loan scheme.
Starling will lend through Funding Circle alongside other institutional investors. Retail investors cannot participate in CBILS loans.
The announcement follows Starling’s and Funding Circle’s accreditation to CBILS, with both fintechs opening for applications last month.
“Small businesses form the backbone of the UK economy and will be at the heart of the nation’s future recovery,” said Lisa Jacobs, UK managing director at Funding Circle.
“At Funding Circle we are pleased to be able to offer businesses a decision in as little as four minutes through our instant decision technology. This partnership will help to ensure the UK’s vital small business community has the financial firepower required to not only survive this period, but to go on and thrive.”
Anne Boden, chief executive of Starling Bank, said that the digital lender is pursuing every avenue to provide funding to small businesses as quickly as possible.
“This partnership with Funding Circle provides us with another outlet, on top of our own CBILS and bounce back loan scheme (BBLS) lending, to help meet the needs of business owners affected by coronavirus,” she added. “It’s a great example of the fintech industry pulling together to meet a very urgent need.”
Funding Circle is preparing to offer BBLS loans alongside CBILS loans.