Four new UK lenders get approved to issue coronavirus business loans
Four new lenders were added to the UK’s ‘Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme’ (CBILS) over the Easter weekend, including Co-Operative Bank, OakNorth Bank, Starling Bank, and Cynergy Bank.
Approved by British Business Bank, these lenders will be racing to set a date by which they will be able to start accepting CBILS applications from small businesses across the UK.
In an exclusive report by City AM, it was revealed one week ago that just 2,022 of the 300,000 applications sent in by small businesses had converted into loans, meaning the government’s scheme was peddling a worryingly low 0.65% conversion rate.
The report has since marked the urgency with which lenders need to get up and running with inclusive loan offerings which don’t fence out small firms with unreasonable collateral requirements.
As well as licensing four lenders for the CBILS, British Business Bank also accredited private bank and wealth manager Coutts as part of RBS Group’s existing accreditation.
British Business Bank says it has accelerated the onboarding of new lenders “to further extend the scheme’s reach”, which it claims already taps 80% of small businesses with its more than 40 accredited lenders so far.
The bank also says it has “significantly increased” the size of its accreditation team to manage the volume of interest, and is reviewing applications from “a wide range of lender types” including PRA-regulated banks, platform lenders, debt funds, invoice finance lenders, asset finance lenders and responsible finance lenders.
“Our accredited lenders have seen an incredible demand for CBILS in the past few weeks,” says the bank’s CEO Keith Morgan, “so we are helping to meet that demand and provide even more choice for smaller businesses by approving additional lenders for accreditation to the scheme”.
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