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March 27, 2020

Digital taskforce seeks lenders for Covid-19 SME cashflow project

By Alejandro Gonzalez

A consortium of fintech companies has joined forces in a push to sign-up lenders looking to ease SME cashflows during the Covid-19 outbreak in the UK. 

The “fintech taskforce” said its digital lending platform is designed to support term loans, invoice finance and asset finance and “aims to help lenders to deploy specialist loans of over £500K within days as opposed to weeks.”

The taskforce is made up of Trade Ledger (a digital lending platform), Wiserfunding (a digital SME credit scoring platform), Nimbla (a trade credit insurance provider) and NorthRow (a remote client onboarding platform).

The group said it was targeting banks, alternative lenders and private debt lenders. 

The taskforce said the lending platform “could be used by individual lenders or, it is hoped, could form the basis of a consortium that would intermediate between multiple lenders – including private funds and the British Business Bank – and the multitude of SMEs seeking lending.”

The group said it was set up because its members believed that government efforts to extend grants, loans and guarantees, including the Coronavirus Business Interruption Lending Scheme, “even though extraordinary … may not get to those SMEs that most need it – or in the timeframe needed.”

The virtual loan origination and underwriting platform also include risk assessment, know-your-customer and insurance capabilities. 

Martin McCann, chief executive at Trade Ledger, said: “With the Covid-19 outbreak putting immense financial pressure on global supply chains, now more than ever, SMEs need reliable cash flow if they are to stay in business. 

“On average, it takes around 90 days for lenders in this sector to onboard new customers and establish new credit lines. The government’s capital injection is a massive boost to an underserved market at an extreme time of need but its impact will be lost if lenders aren’t able to get these loans to their customers quickly.”

 

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