The government needs to level the playing field between non-bank lenders and banks to deliver emergency loans to small businesses at this time, iwoca has claimed.
The small business lender has been approved by the British Business Bank (BBB) to deliver the government-backed coronavirus business interruption loan scheme (CBILS) to small firms which have been impacted by Covid-19.
Iwoca has also argued that fintechs and banks need to collaborate to help small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
“We will work alongside the largest banks to serve as many small businesses as possible to ensure they can navigate through this crisis,” said Christoph Rieche, co-founder and chief executive of iwoca.
“My message to the chief executives of the banks is one of collaboration – we should all be working together to process applications so that we get the job done for small businesses as fast as possible.
“Having already served over 50,000 customers since 2012, our processing capabilities for lending match, and, in many cases exceed, those of the big banks. We’ll only achieve the best result for small businesses if we work together and adapt.
“The fintech community has the ability to scale fast and as a group we have already supported over 400,000 small and micro businesses with finance, representing 30 per cent of all SME lending.
“Our accreditation is a step in the right direction, but there’s more that can be done. We’ll continue to work closely with the government, the BBB and other banks to make these schemes work for small businesses.
“As a non-bank lender, we do not have access to financing from the Bank of England.
“During this unprecedented time the government needs to go one step further to level the playing field between banks and non-banks so that we can deliver on their commitment to save Britain’s small businesses.”
Alongside iwoca, the BBB has also approved Scania Financial Services, Triodos Bank UK, Ulster Community Investment Trust (UCIT), and Woodsford TradeBridge for CBILS.
Following their approval, each lender will be putting in place the operations required to start lending under the scheme and will shortly confirm the dates from which they will be ready to start receiving CBILS applications.
“Our accredited lenders have seen an incredible demand for Covid-19 business loan schemes since they became available,” said Keith Morgan, chief executive of BBB.
“Accrediting these six additional finance providers means further support for smaller business customers and continues the BBB’s long-term objective to offer more diverse sources of finance to smaller businesses.”