By Oliver Smith on Wednesday 3 June 2020
As 40,000+ customers wait for their loans to arrive, tensions are rising.
In the wake of huge demand on its Bounce Back Loans, Tide has addressed some of the growing tension on social media.
Yesterday the small business lender addressed the key questions it had been asked through its customer service channels, mainly around how its now 40,000 customer waiting list is working and how quickly it’s moving.
The short version is that Tide continues to operate a first-come, first-served system and is rolling out loans as quickly as possible.
In addition, Tide looked to address frustration on social media which has boiled over to become “abusive” in recent days.
“We know this is a stressful time and many people are within days or weeks of losing their businesses. The majority of the 40,000+ people on our waiting list have been very patient. We appreciate this and we’re working as fast as we can,” wrote Tide.
“We support free speech but if anyone posts messages that are abusive, wrong or threatening, we’ll take steps to address this and protect our staff.”
Other customers had apparently told Tide that “some lenders appear to be prioritising customers who are vocal on social media”, which Tide shut down by quickly stating that “impatience or frustration on social media doesn’t make someone a higher priority”.
There are two key implementation challenges with the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), which particularly affect the likes of Starling Bank and Tide who have a large volume of newer customers and are struggling to quickly lend—specifically around the drip-feeding of funds from the British Business Bank and the new customer delay.
At the same time the BBLS is facing a larger structural challenge in its lack of affordability testing, which is leading to growing concern among senior bankers that the scheme will come back to bite the industry in the future.
Read more: Will Bounce Back Loans come back to bite?