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Starling dishes out £90m in Bounce Back Loans to SMEs in just over a day

The digital bank currently has made £120m in offers and has added nearly 2,000 new business accounts in the first 24 hours of Bounce Back Loans being offered.

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Anne Boden/Starling Bank

Digital bank Starling has lent out over £90m to SMEs in Bounce Back Loans (BBL), with a total of £120m committed, just a day and a half after opening the scheme.

Anne Boden’s digital bank was among the first eight lenders approved to offer loans under the scheme just over a week ago.

The BBL Scheme, for which Starling’s applications opened on Monday morning, offers SMEs a 100 per cent government-backed guarantee for loans between £2,000 and £50,000.

As well as dishing out a £90m in loans, Starling revealed that it has attracted nearly 1,900 new business accounts, now including its newly launched sole trader accounts, on Monday alone.

A spokesperson for Starling said: “When we opened our Bounce Back Loan Scheme lending on Monday we had one goal - to quickly bolster our customers' businesses by getting them the funds they need in order to survive."

"With £90 million lent in the first day and a half, we have started as we mean to go on."

Starling was also one of the first fintechs to gain CBILS approval, alongside fellow digital bank OakNorth, several weeks before attaining BBL accreditation. 

The fintech was one of the first to announce it was to furlough 41 members of staff at the beginning of the outbreak, only to u-turn on its decision no less than two weeks later. 

Apart from offering government-backed loans, Starling also has other support measures in place to help its customers who are feeling the coronavirus-related pinch on the purse strings.

The bank launched its Coronavirus Support Scheme at the beginning of April 2020 which would allow for customers facing financial hardship to apply for a three-month interest holiday on arranged overdrafts. 

Starling Bank also introduced Connected Cards, aimed at self-isolating customers who could order a spare card with a £200 limit to give out to friends and family members helping them buy essential items.

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