Iwoca calls on banks and UK government to extend CBILS
Business lending fintech iwoca has called on the UK government and major banks to provide greater COVID-19 relief to businesses.
The fintech wants an extension to the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme (CBILS). The project enables banks to loan money to businesses with 80% of the cash guaranteed by the UK government.
Businesses have gained around £50 billion in loans through CBILS, which is due to end 30 September. The British Business Bank, which leads the scheme, can extend CBILS at its own discretion.
Iwoca claims to have written to the CEOs of seven major banks in the UK. The letter urges major lenders to pass their delayed CBILS applications to the fintech.
Founded in 2011, iwoca claims to have lent more than £1 billion to 50,000 firms since its launch. It was added to a list of approved CBILS providers in May 2020.
“The additional operational pressures for banks […] means that thousands of small businesses are facing delays in their CBILS applications,” it writes.
The news arrives as iwoca raises £100 million in debt financing for an expansion of its CBILS programme. Led by Insight Investment, the raise has not disclosed other participating investors.
“We want to give small businesses the best chance of finding the support they so clearly need, which means the banks must work with us,” says Christoph Rieche, iwoca CEO.
“It’s not acceptable that thousands of the businesses applying for CBILS are left hanging for weeks or even months without getting a decision from their bank.”