SME Marketplace lending platform Funding Circle (LSE:FCH) has been approved by the British Busines Bank as a lender under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). The online lender becomes one of a handful of Fintechs in the UK facilitating the program.
Funding Circle said it expects to open CBILS applications within the next week once it has completed the required legal and operational approvals with the Bank.
Keith Morgan, CEO, British Business Bank, stated:
“Our accredited lenders have seen an incredible demand for CBILS since the scheme became available. As the first newly accredited marketplace lending platform to be accredited under CBILS, Funding Circle will be able to provide more capacity, more choice and most importantly, vital funding for smaller businesses across the UK. This accreditation continues the British Business Bank’s long-term support for the growth of marketplace lending since its earliest stages.”
According to the British Business Bank, over 80% of the UK’s smaller businesses have a finance relationship with CBILS accredited lenders. The British Business Bank says it is accelerating the onboarding of new lenders to further extend the scheme’s reach.
“Small businesses are the heartbeat of our economy but many find themselves in need of financial support during this time of crisis. Funding Circle is uniquely positioned to use its advanced technology, risk and data analytics platform to help distribute funds to small businesses during this time of crisis. We stand ready to play our part now we have been accredited to both the UK and US Government SME lending programmes.”
The Bank adds that it continues to review applications from a wide range of lender types – from PRA-regulated banks, to platform lenders, debt funds, invoice finance lenders, asset finance lenders and responsible finance lenders
Funding Circle is the largest online small business loan provider in the UK and has originated over £6.2 billion of loans to 57,000+ businesses.
Earlier this week, Funding Circle USA was approved to originate Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans that are 100% guaranteed by the SBA. The program provides small businesses with forgivable loans up to $10 million to cover payroll costs, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. While Funding Circle has been approved by the SBA to extend these loans the program has since run out of money.