Starling Bank’s business lending lead Edward Revell has predicted that a new government-backed lending scheme will be launched next year to support businesses after the recovery loan scheme (RLS) comes to an end.
During a webinar with Swoop Funding, Revell said that there has been huge demand for the RLS, and he expects the government to announce a follow-on scheme with a lower government guarantee.
“I believe there will be another lending scheme,” Revell said. “It might not be RLS but it will be something very similar.
“It might be that the scheme changes and they lower the guarantee or the charges or something that will have an impact on the price that we can offer funding at.”
Revell’s comments come just a few days after it was revealed that the Treasury is considering extending the RLS past its 31 December deadline.
The government-backed loan scheme – which is a successor to previous state support measures such as the coronavirus interruption loan scheme – was launched on 6 April to help businesses recover from the pandemic.
During the webinar, Swoop Funding’s founder and chief executive Andrea Reynolds said that now is a good time for business-owners to look at the RLS, as the government was initially a bit slow to approve lenders to the scheme.
“Now is the time to try again,” Reynolds said.
Elsewhere in the webinar, both Reynolds and Revell spoke about the growing importance of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) standards, with Reynolds calling for a standardised metric that investors can use to judge the ESG credentials of a lender.
Revell revealed that Starling is looking to develop green lending products which can provide an economic advantage for its customers, and this will be a priority for the challenger bank in the future.
“ESG is not going anywhere,” said Revell. “I want to be able to provide financial benefits to our lenders through that kind of lending. Most likely it will be through an advantage on your loan and how much you’ll have to repay, but also how can we support you through other means.
“We’re really keen to do something on this.”