Esme Loans, NatWest’s standalone digital lending platform for SMEs and scale-up businesses, has announced that it will close. Launched as a pilot by NatWest in early 2017, Esme Loans offered an alternative financing option for SME customers looking for faster, unsecured business loans for a wide range of business purposes, alongside its range of conventional…

New HM Treasury figures have revealed that the banking and finance industry has approved another £2 billion of business loans over the past month, with the figure now rising to almost £73 billion to almost  1.6 million businesses so far through government-backed coronavirus lending schemes. Almost 29,500 Bounce Back Loans have been approved over the…

Invoice finance firm Optimum Finance has announced the appointment ex-Microsoft Global Director, Gordon McIntosh, as Chief Technical Officer (CTO). Mcintosh has extensive experience with a decade working at Microsoft headquarters in Seattle, Washington. His most recent role at the tech giant was Global Director of Service Engineering for Microsoft’s Volume Licensing and OEM businesses in…

The volume of Government loans granted to help SMEs through the COVID-19 crisis will be having a potentially devastating impact on the availability of ‘traditional’ lending, causing alarm in the lender broker community according to new research by Allica Bank. The Bank suggests that SMEs could be starved of funding to fuel future growth because…

Research by debt specialist ACP Altenburg Advisory reveals that ‘normal’ lending to SMEs fell from £168 billion in December 2019 to £152 billion in December 2020, with emergency coronavirus funding through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBLIS) and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) seeing almost £61 billion lent to such firms by December…

A new survey by the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA) has indicated that the asset finance, consumer finance and motor finance industry sees opportunities for growth over the next year despite the heightened uncertainty caused by the latest restrictions to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. The association surveyed its members with respondents divided on the…

New data published by the British Business Bank has revealed the regional distribution of loans under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS). More than 1.4 million loans have supported businesses and protected jobs across all sectors. The figures show that the retail and construction sectors have benefitted…

Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee has today has published a  report into the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) set up to help businesses at the height of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. The new report contains six key findings: The Government was not sufficiently prepared to support micro-businesses despite the economic impact of the pandemic being a known risk…

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