The British Business Bank has approved peer-to-peer lending platforms LendingCrowd and Folk2Folk for the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme (CBILS).
The scheme enables lenders accredited by the bank to provide facilities of up to £5m to smaller businesses which are experiencing lost or deferred revenues due to Covid-19.
LendingCrowd and Folk2Folk have joined Funding Circle and Assetz Capital as the only P2P lenders currently approved to deliver CBILS, although Crowd2Fund plans to deliver the scheme as part of its July relaunch.
This follows Peer2Peer Finance News’ ‘Back Our Industry’ campaign urging the government to include more P2P lenders in the state-backed lending schemes, so that they can deliver more emergency help to small businesses and housebuilders.
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LendingCrowd will offer a CBILS loan product for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with a minimum value of £50,001 and a maximum value of £250,000. These loans can be repaid across a three or a five-year term.
The business lender will begin providing CBILS immediately, offering loans to both new and existing borrowers, subject to eligibility.
“We appreciate the stress and struggle that SMEs are going through and that time is of the essence in providing support,” said Stuart Lunn, founder and chief executive of LendingCrowd.
“Our agile and flexible approach means that we can distribute funding responsibly to those who need it quickly.
“We have already spoken to every existing borrower, implemented repayment holidays for qualifying borrowers and changed repayment dates to better suit their cashflow patterns at no cost.
“In offering CBILS loans, LendingCrowd can play its part in supporting the survival and resurgence of as many SMEs as possible.”
Folk2Folk will provide property-secured loans valued at between £50,001 and £5m.
The local rural business lender said it will soon be accepting CBILS applications from its existing borrowers but intends to expand this to accept new enquiries in due course.
“As the originator of The Local Lending Movement, Folk2Folk’s purpose has always been to support Britain’s local and rural businesses,” said Louis Mathers, co-founder and director of Folk2Folk.
“Throughout the pandemic we have continued to lend to businesses and play a vital role in helping to keep the economy moving.
“Our approval for accreditation by the British Business Bank is the next step, broadening out what we can offer businesses and placing Folk2Folk on the financial frontline of support for SMEs.
“With lock-down conditions now easing, our accreditation is well timed to help those needing to invest in new ways of operating, considering a new direction or diversifying. We will make further announcements about making CBILS available to new borrowers in due course.”
The British Business Bank has also accredited 365 Business Finance, Handelsbanken, Maxxia and alternative lender Nucleus Commercial Finance for the scheme.
Within a week, Nucleus will start accepting applications from brokers via its myNucleus portal and said that it will be able to provide CBILS to businesses within 24 hours of application.
“Our accredited lenders continue to see high levels of demand for Covid-19 business loan schemes,” said Keith Morgan, chief executive of the British Business Bank.
“Accrediting these additional finance providers means further support for smaller business customers and continues the British Business Bank’s long-term objective to offer more diverse sources of finance to smaller businesses.”