Linked Finance, an Ireland-based peer to peer lender, has reportedly been added to the country’s COVID-19 credit guarantee scheme. Notably, the P2P platform is the country’s first non-bank lender to be included.
Linked Finance, which is one of Ireland’s largest P2P lending platforms, is now officially a part of the nation’s Covid-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme (CCGS) – which will be supporting small businesses.
The CCGS aims to provide more affordable or low-cost working capital loans to SMBs with an 80% government guarantee against potential lender losses. At present, AIB, Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank are also offering support for CCGS.
Linked Finance stated that it will be able to issue loans of up to €250,000 within 24 hours after receiving a company’s application.
Niall Dorrian, CEO at Linked Finance, stated:
“We are very pleased that the Government has approved Linked Finance as a Covid-19 credit guarantee scheme lender, recognising the innovation and high levels of technical underwriting skill that we provide to Irish businesses. It is also an important milestone in the diversification of how businesses access finance in this country, a trend that’s been happening in many European markets in response to this pandemic.”
Dorrian and the other staff members working at Linked Finance have previously noted that the Irish government’s efforts to extend support to local SMBs during the Coronavirus crisis have not been adequate.
When the pandemic first began, Linked had introduced its own “Deferred Start Loan” for SMEs that had been impacted by COVID, which was a 15-month loan of up to €100,000.
Dorrian had stated in May 2020:
“The clock is ticking for Irish SMEs and it’s vital that the Government moves quickly to expand the lending support it can provide. Alongside an expansion of capital guarantees should also be the broadening of the channels through which funds are offered to include lenders like Linked Finance. We have the intimate understanding of, and relationships with, SMEs to ensure that funds are deployed rapidly and to the right place.”
As covered in March 2020, Linked Finance confirmed that they were engaging with the Irish government to ensure alternative lenders are part of any future financing solution for SMEs. As an online lender, Linked Finance is well-positioned to be a conduit for any government action to provide much needed financial support.