Wednesday 13 May 2020 1:13 pm

Starling and Funding Circle to provide £300m in small business loans

Save our SMEs

Starling Bank and Funding Circle today said they have teamed up to provide £300m in loans to small firms under the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme (CBILS).

Starling will lend through Funding Circle alongside other institutional investors, granting access to funding for more than 4,000 small businesses across the UK.

Read more: Coronavirus: A third of small firms fear collapse amid redundancy plans

Both fintech firms have been accredited for CBILS and opened for applications last month from businesses that have been hit by the pandemic.

The companies said the partnership will allow them to distribute more money to businesses more quickly.

In addition to providing CBILS loans — which are available to companies with a turnover of up to £5m, Starling is also participating in the bounce back loans scheme (BBLS), which provides loans of between £2,000 and £50,000 to small companies.

“This partnership with Funding Circle provides us with another outlet, on top of our own CBILS and BBLS lending, to help meet the needs of business owners affected by coronavirus,” said Starling chief executive Anne Boden.

“It’s a great example of the Fintech industry pulling together to meet a very urgent need.”

Lisa Jacobs, UK managing director at Funding Circle, said: “Small businesses form the backbone of the UK economy and will be at the heart of the nation’s future recovery. 

“This partnership will help to ensure the UK’s vital small business community has the financial firepower required to not only survive this period, but to go on and thrive.”  

Chancellor Rishi Sunak yesterday announced that the UK banking and finance industry has so far provided almost £15bn to more than 300,000 businesses through three government-backed coronavirus loan schemes.

Read more: UK banks lend £15bn through coronavirus loan schemes

In the week since the bounce back loan scheme (BBLS) launched, £8.4bn has been approved to 268,173 businesses – an average of 38,000 loans a day. Meanwhile lenders have provided £6.1bn through CBILS, according to figures from UK Finance.