The number of loans under management at lending platform Funding Circle hit a record in 2020, with the firm’s involvement in the Covid support scheme giving a boost to the business.
In 2020 Funding Circle achieved record loans under management of £4.21bn, up from £3.73bn in 2019 – a 13 per cent increase.
The lender has approved 27 per cent of all Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) loans since it became involved with the scheme, making it the UK’s third largest CBILS provider.
CEO and founder Samir Desai said: “We are seeing an acceleration in the shift towards online in small business lending as a result of Covid and this has opened up an enlarged opportunity for Funding Circle.
“Our machine learning and technology platform is transforming the small business borrowing experience with instant decisions for 50 per cent of applications. Average loan applications are completed in six minutes and decisions follow in just nine seconds, providing borrowers with an unmatched experience.
“In the next 12 months we will use this technology to launch new products to help solve more small business funding problems.”
In the UK small and medium companies have accessed more than £7bn through CBILS and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.
The business made an operating loss of £106m for the year, which Funding Circle said predominantly reflected the impact of Covid-19 loans it held for sale, plus a non-cash impairment of £12m of US goodwill and £1.5m to the US restructure.
Some £5.2m of the loss related to the restructure of the developing markets business.
Funding Circle saw total fee income of £220m for the year, up 25 per cent from 2019.