The British Business Bank has announced that it has approved six new lenders for accreditation under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

New lenders Bibby Financial Services, iwoca, Scania Financial Services, Triodos Bank UK, Ulster Community Investment Trust (UCIT), and Woodsford TradeBridge will be able to provide financial support to smaller businesses across the UK that are losing revenue and seeing their cashflow disrupted, as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Following their approval, each lender will be putting in place the operations required to start lending under the scheme and will confirm shortly the dates from which they will be ready to start receiving CBILS applications from smaller businesses across the UK.

Keith Morgan, CEO, British Business Bank, said “Our accredited lenders have seen an incredible demand for Covid-19 business loan schemes since they became available. Accrediting these six additional finance providers means further support for smaller business customers and continues the British Business Bank’s long-term objective to offer more diverse sources of finance to smaller businesses.”

The Government’s latest statistics show businesses have to date benefitted from over £22 billion in loans and guarantees to support their cashflow during the crisis through schemes delivered by the British Business Bank. This includes 40,564 facilities worth £7.25bn through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

The accelerated accreditation process the British Business Bank has put in place for coronavirus schemes means it has been able to increase the number of lenders on the CBILS scheme by 80% since the scheme’s launch, increasing the number from 41 to 74.

Iwoca Co-founder and CEO, Christoph Rieche said “Britain’s small businesses will be playing a front and centre role in getting our economy back on track. From today we’ll be able to support this effort and give small businesses much needed access to funding so that they can manage cash flow gaps, stay afloat and prepare for the future.”

“There are nearly 800,000 businesses in the UK that generate more than £250k in annual revenues of which 450,000 generate more than £500k in annual revenues1. The demand for CBILS from these businesses is significantly larger than the combined processing capacity of the banks, who, in normal times, approve approximately 7,000 small business loans per month and in April approved around 25,000 under the CBILS. We will work alongside the largest banks to serve as many small businesses as possible to ensure they can navigate through this crisis. My message to the CEOs of the banks is one of collaboration – we should all be working together to process applications so that we get the job done for small businesses as fast as possible.”

“Having already served over 50,000 customers since 2012, our processing capabilities for lending match, and, in many cases exceed, those of the big banks. We’ll only achieve the best result for small businesses if we work together and adapt. The Fintech community has the ability to scale fast and as a group we have already supported over 400,000 small and micro businesses with finance, representing 30% of all SME lending.”

“Our accreditation is a step in the right direction, but there’s more that can be done. We’ll continue to work closely with the Government, the British Business Bank and other banks to make these schemes work for small businesses. As a non-bank lender we do not have access to financing from the Bank of England. During this unprecedented time the Government needs to go one step further to level the playing field between banks and non-banks so that we can deliver on their commitment to save Britain’s small businesses.”

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