Money&Co chief Nicola Horlick said the government should have eased lockdown restrictions much earlier to support businesses.
Yesterday Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that from 4 July, pubs, restaurants, hotels and hairdressers can open again in England. Johnson said where possible people should remain two metres apart but a “one metre plus” rule will be introduced.
“All of this should have been done sooner,” said Horlick (pictured).
“Covid-19 has been affecting the P2P lending platforms lending to small- and medium-sized enterprises and we don’t know the true devastation until the furlough scheme ends.”
Horlick said instead of the government’s approach to the lockdown, she would have protected the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions that have been shielding, paying for them to stay at home, while everyone else continued working, whilst taking provisions, like wearing masks.
“We all knew for years that a pandemic was our greatest threat,” Horlick said.
“Look at what happened in the 14th century when the Black Death wiped out half of England’s population. Then there was the plague and the Spanish flu. We know viruses are a threat so why don’t we have proper supplies of personal protective equipment for people?
“I always felt the tube was dangerous too because of the risk of diseases spreading with people crammed.”
Horlick said after the pandemic, there will be changes to the way people work and live, for example more people could work from home one day a week.
“There will be more awareness of risks post-Covid-19,” she said.
“We need to spend more money on infrastructure and better ways of travelling and can cut down on risks by working from home.”
Last month, Horlick announced that Money&Co was lending with caution even before Covid-19, due to concerns of a Brexit-induced economic downturn.
The peer-to-peer business lender had decided purely to offer secured loans even before the coronavirus hit, focussing on music loans and litigation finance.
In April the platform said it had completed £1m of litigation finance and a £400,000 music loan.