Linked Finance has welcomed the Irish government’s extension of its €2bn (£1.7bn) credit guarantee scheme and revealed it has lent €7m under the initiative to date.
The Irish peer-to-peer lending platform was accredited for the scheme in January, which offers an 80 per cent government guarantee on business loans from €10,000 to €1m for terms of up to five-and-a-half years.
Niall O’Grady (pictured), who joined Linked Finance as chief executive in February, welcomed the extension of the scheme to make it open for applications until the end of the year.
“We are delighted that the scheme is being extended until the end of the year, providing more businesses with the opportunity to benefit from it as they look to recharge their businesses coming out of the pandemic,” said O’Grady.
“This gives small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) the opportunity of ensuring all the work they have done to survive the Covid challenges is not lost or wasted.
“As the first non-bank lender approved under the scheme in January, we’ve had a huge response from SMEs and have already funded over €7m of loans to SMEs across the country.”
Under the terms of the credit guarantee scheme, loans under €250,000 do not require any personal guarantees or collateral. Interest rates will vary depending on the loan, however they will be lower than would otherwise be available in the market.
Since the start of 2021, 19 credit unions and three non-bank lenders have joined the scheme as finance providers.