Fintechs to play an “even more important” role coming out of lockdown, says British Business Bank

By John Reynolds on Wednesday 16 September 2020

Alternative LendingDigital Banking

The BBB charts the impact of the pandemic in its annual report, which reveals it suffered a £2m loss for the year.

Fintechs to play an “even more important” role coming out of lockdown, says British Business Bank
Image source: British Business Bank.

Fintechs will be “even more important” coming out of lockdown than they were during lockdown helping smaller businesses return to normality, according to the British Business Bank (BBB), which has reported a £2m loss in the year ending March 2020.

The government-backed bank, which is responsible for organising the CBILS, BBLS and other government emergency funding schemes, has updated the market on the impact that Covid-19 has had on financial institutions, businesses and its organisation in its annual report.

It cited fintechs as playing “an important part of delivering emergency schemes during the crisis” adding “they will be even more important in the recovery, when the UK’s smaller businesses will still need to be served by a healthy, competitive and diverse finance market.”

Starling Bank and OakNorth Bank are among the fintechs which have offered loans during the pandemic through the BBB.

The annual report covers the period to the year ending March 2020 but the BBB offers an update on the impact of Covid-19.

It said the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) has 97 accredited lenders and, as of August 11, provided 60,000 loans worth £13.4bn.

The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS), meanwhile, has 23 accredited lenders and has delivered 500 loans worth £3.4bn.

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) has given out over 1.1m loans worth £35bn while the Future Fund has delivered over £560m of funding to 565 businesses.

CBILS is due to end on September 30 while the BBLS is due to end in early November, although the government has said they might continue beyond the deadline.

In the report, the BBB details that businesses have frantically been going to the BBB website to find out information amid the pandemic. Daily unique visits to its website have surged from 1,000 to over 20,000, it said.

Media coverage of the BBB has soared from 400 to 500 articles a month before the pandemic to 7,000 in March this year.

The report also details the impact has had on its organisation. It said a number of KPI targets were suspended while eight staff members reported sick due to being self-diagnosed with coronavirus.

But the BBB said it did not make any staff redundancies or furlough any either.

In the year ending March 31 2020, the BBB reported revenues of £52m, up from £43m the year previous.

But it reported a £2.1m loss, compared to a profit of £81m the year previous.

It said the loss was down to Covid-19. In particular, it said it had suffered a reduction in net gains on investment assets and increased expected credit loss provision because of the pandemic.

In total, the BBB supported over 98,000 businesses with £8bn of finance in the year, an uplift of 21 per cent on the year.

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