Folk2Folk is not currently looking to gain accreditation under the government’s recovery loan scheme (RLS) and is instead focused on its core business and retail lenders.
The peer-to-peer business lending platform, which has recently repositioned itself as a national marketplace lender, was accredited for the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme (CBILS) last year although it did not ultimately lend under the initiative.
Despite this, the platform achieved a stellar year that has continued into 2021.
Folk2Folk made a £1.1m profit in its last full-year results and has since reported a 125 per cent year-on-year rise in first-quarter profits.
For now, the platform is not interested in gaining accreditation to the RLS, which is due to run until the end of the year subject to a review, but has a “never say never” attitude to the topic.
The RLS is the successor to several government-backed lending schemes to support businesses during the pandemic, including CBILS which closed for new applications on 31 March this year.
“We haven’t had any borrowers ask about the RLS,” a Folk2Folk spokesperson said.
“We get borrowers coming direct to us and from brokers, and they just want our regular loans.
“We have seen strong demand on our borrower side, we’re just busy originating loans to satisfy demand.
“Our core business is so strong we don’t want to distract ourselves in any way or push out retail to one side instead. We have a loyal retail investor base, so we owe it to them to pay them attention and try to give them what they expect from us.
“We’re still actively in discussions and engaging with institutions, we’re still really keen to build up that side of the business.
“We want to have that broader array of investor streams of finance, but our retail investing side isn’t going to suffer as a result of taking on institutional investors. We’re still dedicated to making sure we look after our retail investors.”