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Fintechs rescuing businesses during Covid a "big moment' for the sector

Samir Desai, the CEO of Funding Circle, said Funding Circle was set up to provide an alternative route to get money to small businesses during times of crisis.

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Samir Desai/Funding Circle

The boss of Funding Circle said fintechs providing support loans to struggling firms during the pandemic was a “big moment” for the sector.

Speaking at the AltFi Festival of Finance, Samir Desai, CEO, Funding Circle, said: “I think where fintechs were able to get involved, I think we have shown we can really help a lot and I think that is a really big moment, to be honest, for the sector, to be thought of in that kind of way.”

During the pandemic, Funding Circle was an accredited lender under the government’s CBILS and BBLS schemes. 

The SME lender also joined the US stimulus iniatiave to give out funds to cash-strapped SMEs across across the Atlantic.

“One of the things I am very proud of is actually, the reason we set up Funding Circle was to provide an alternative route to get money to small businesses during times of crisis,” added Desai.

He added that he thought the fintech sector, as a whole, did “an amazing job of getting money to small businesses during this period”.

Desai compared different markets in their approach to allowing fintechs to access government support loans, pointing out that in Germany, for example, fintechs were not able to access any of these schemes, unlike in the UK.

Desai was speaking on a panel with Giles Andrews, the co-foudner of Zopa, entitled "Lessons from the fincial crisis".

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Samir Desai

CEO and Co-founder

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