The British Business Bank has accredited Kingsway Asset Finance (KAF) Ltd as a new lender for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

A Praeture Asset Finance Group company, KAF will offer CBILS term loan funding from £50,001 to £150,000 over two to five years, with no interest, fees or capital repayments in the first year.

The firm will be accepting applications for the CBILS proposition from both new and existing SME customers, referred by a panel of approved broker and intermediary partners.

Kingsway Asset Finance sales director, Mike Day, commented: “At Kingsway we have a long history of supporting the borrowing requirements of the UK SME market. Now as an accredited non-bank lender, under the government-backed CBILS initiative, we look forward to providing qualifying businesses with the much-needed support they require during these testing times, via our panel of selected intermediaries”.

Research from McKinsey highlights the immense effect of the pandemic on SMEs, which account for 50% of the total revenue generated by UK businesses and 44% of the country’s labour force.

Insights reveal that 80% of SMEs say their revenues are declining, and with numerous firms expressing concerns about defaulting loans (25%), the ability to retain employees (24%) and sustain supply chains (28%).

Funding from CBILS, delivered through British Business Bank accredited lenders, aims to support the provision of finance to UK SMEs, mitigating a number of these concerns.

The scheme enables lenders to provide up to £5m to UK SMEs who are struggling with lost or deferred revenues and the subsequent disruption to cash flow.

Peadar O Reilley – CEO of Praeture – which acquired KAF in January 2019, concluded: “This is another important development for the Praetura Asset Finance Group, giving further capability to enhance the range of funding facilities for small and medium-sized businesses in the group’s portfolio. The new CBILS funding facilities are vital to help our customers (both old and new) to stabilise, adapt and diversify”.