The British Business Bank has responded to criticism of the slow accreditation of lenders under the recovery loan scheme (RLS).
The scheme, which was announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in his 2021 Budget and launched on 6 April, has a maximum facility of £10m. It provides loans from £1,000 for asset and invoice finance and from £25,001 for term loans and overdrafts.
The British Business Bank has invited all lenders that took part under the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme (CBILS) to apply for accreditation under the RLS.
A spokesperson from the bank said that unlike with CBILS, the bank will only announce lenders it has accredited under the RLS once they are able to start lending under the scheme and that so far it has approved 39 lenders for accreditation under the RLS of which 18 have begun accepting applications from borrowers.
Read more: Recovery loan scheme ‘off to a slow start’
“The remainder are in the process of onboarding and setting up systems for delivery,” the spokesperson said.
“We are aware of a significant volume of applications to lenders, the vast majority of which are undergoing credit, anti-money laundering checks and other important processing required. If a lender can offer the choice of a commercial loan on better terms, without requiring the guarantee provided by the RLS, they should do so.
“Data on the scheme are expected to be published on a quarterly basis.”
Stuart Law, chief executive of Assetz Capital, said his peer-to-peer lending platform “certainly expects and hopes to be accredited very shortly”.
“Our team is already good to go, we’ve done a lot of preparation work and there’s a lot of demand for the product,” he said.
“We have a significant level of interest from our borrowers in the scheme that were not confident they could get funders elsewhere.
“We’re feeling better from our point of view. We have hundreds of millions of pounds in funding lines ready to go to support borrowers through the scheme and hope approval can come as soon as it can.”
When the RLS was launched, Lisa Jacobs, Europe managing director at Funding Circle, welcomed the scheme and said the P2P business lender looks forward to taking part in it.
A spokesperson from the platform said the situation remains the same with the lender looking forward to participating in the RLS.