Irish peer-to-peer lending platform Linked Finance has received record levels of interest from small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) seeking government-backed loans.
Since being approved as a Covid-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme (CCGS) lender last week, the platform has received an influx of enquiries from Ireland’s SMEs. According to Linked Finance, this has confirmed that there is an appetite for non-bank lending across the country during the pandemic.
“Linked Finance is proud to have been the first non-bank lender approved by the government as a Covid-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme lender,” said Linked Finance.
“Since launching our loan offering last week we have received record levels of interest from SMEs looking to avail of the scheme through our platform.
“This shows the appetite there is for a better, faster approach to lending, supported by excellent service with loans approved in under 24 hours.
“Linked Finance is delighted to partner with the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland (SBCI) to deliver this government initiative and support local SMEs through this challenging period and onwards into a full economic recovery.”
The CCGS scheme was launched in July by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment. It is operated via the SBCI – a national body which aims to make low-cost credit available to Irish SMEs.
Like the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme (CBILS) in the UK, the CCGS scheme allows SMEs to quickly access cheap funding solutions to safeguard their business models during the pandemic.
Linked Finance offers CCGS loans of up to €250,000 (£221,000) for terms of between six months and five years, with interest rates starting at 4.75 per cent.
The CCGS scheme requires applicants to pay an additional risk premium charge to the government ranging from 0.15 per cent for a one-year loan up to 0.68 per cent for a six-year loan. In return, the government will guarantee up to 80 per cent of the loans value in the event of a default.