By Aisling Finn on Wednesday 20 May 2020
The alternative lender is offering CBILS-backed loans and overdrafts to existing customers.
The lender can now provide SMEs with loans from £50,001 up to £250,000 for existing customers with a view to bring on new customers eventually.
Iwoca is also offering CBILS backed overdrafts for SMEs already on its loan book feeling the coronavirus-related financial pinch.
Christoph Rieche, CEO and co-founder of iwoca, said: “Our accreditation is a step in the right direction, but there’s more that can be done. We’ll continue to work closely with the Government, the British Business Bank and other banks to make these schemes work for small businesses.”
Rieche went on to criticise the current system in place, perhaps a reason why iwoca’s accreditation was a while in the making: “As a non-bank lender, we do not have access to financing from the Bank of England.
“During this unprecedented time, the Government needs to go one step further to level the playing field between banks and non-banks so that we can deliver on their commitment to save Britain’s small businesses,” he added
Five other lenders have been accredited alongside iwoca including Triodos Bank who will provide loans and overdrafts from £50,001 up to £5m for new and existing customers, Bibby Financial Services who is offering invoice finance from £10,000 to £5m for SMEs.
Other lenders accredited today include Ulster Community Investment Trust, who is offering loans from £50,001 to £250,000 in Northern Ireland, Woodsford TradeBridge, will provide loans and invoice finance up to £5m and Scania Financial Services will give SMEs asset finance loans between £25,000 and £5m.
Rumours swirled that iwoca was one of the first to apply to become accredited once the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) was first announced back in March 2020 but it took the lender over two months to gain accreditation.
AltFi understands that this could have been the case because the lender didn’t want to announce it had gained accreditation until it was ready to lend.
Several early adopters of the government-backed schemes are still yet to open applications to SMEs such as Paragon Bank who was accredited at the same time as Starling and OakNorth and Assetz Capital who gained accreditation in early May.