A number of alternative lenders have been accredited under the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme (CBILS) – including several peer-to-peer lending platforms.
As the one-year anniversary of CBILS approaches, it is clear that alternative lenders have played a key role in supporting those small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) hit by the Covid-19 crisis.
Here’s a round-up of some of the alternative finance providers taking part.
In April, Funding Circle became the first P2P platform to be accredited for CBILS and then in July was approved to offer bounce back loans.
In November, the lender’s UK managing director Lisa Jacobs said that the platform had already lent more than £800m to UK businesses under CBILS.
In December it promised significant CBILS funding to support businesses up to the deadline of March 31 2021.
The Edinburgh-based P2P lender began lending under the scheme in September, two months after its accreditation.
Both LendingCrowd and Funding Circle have paused retail investment while delivering CBILS loans.
Folk2Folk was accredited to CBILS at the same time as LendingCrowd at the start of July.
Since then, despite passing the British Business Bank’s due diligence and partnering with debt marketplace CrossLend to try to raise the institutional funds needed, the platform has not started lending under CBILS. It wants to take part in the successor scheme.
Former P2P lender MarketFinance was accredited to CBILS in May.
In December, the lender said it secured more institutional funding for CBILS lending by being connected to institutional investors through CrossLend.
After ThinCats, which exited the retail P2P space in favour of institutional funds in 2019, was approved to participate in CBILS at the end of May, the lender went on to achieve record lending volumes of £289m in 2020.
The alternative lender still predicts a huge demand for business lending post-CBILS.
Another former P2P lender; LendInvest has been conducting CBILS lending under the scheme for property investors adversely impacted by Covid-19, who require additional cashflow to repay existing loan facilities.
In October, the challenger bank announced it had provided more than£400m to businesses through CBILS and its larger counterpart, the coronavirus large business interruption loan scheme (CLBILS).
After gaining accreditation in May, the alternative lender announced in October that it had delivered over £100m worth of CBILS loans to SMEs hit by the crisis.
The specialist lender was approved to participate in CBILS in July to provide businesses bridge loans, refurbishment loans, permitted development loans and development loans under the scheme.
Funding 365 was accredited in November and at the time said it would provide unregulated bridging loans up to 65 per cent loan-to-value for up to 24 months, secured on a first charge basis.
Over the summer, Ultimate Finance was approved to offer asset-backed, invoice finance and bridging products under CBILS.