Fintech taskforce established to help SMEs cope with COVID-19 pandemic

The taskforce, which includes Trade Ledger, Wiserfunding, Nimbla and NorthRow, is working to provide a new turn-key loan origination and underwriting platform to allow banks and lenders to provide funds to businesses.

This platform would include risk assessment, ‘know your customer’ (KYC), and insurance capabilities, and could be used by individual lenders or as part of a consortium.

The funds that are made available would be deployed virtually and digitally, and would aim to lessen the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on SMEs.

Options would include loans of over £500,000, deployed within days rather than weeks.

Martin McCann, CEO at Trade Ledger, said: “With the COVID-19 outbreak putting immense financial pressure on global supply chains, now more than ever, SMEs need reliable cash flow if they are to stay in business.

“On average, it takes around 90 days for lenders in this sector to onboard new customers and establish new credit lines. The government’s capital injection is a massive boost to an underserved market at an extreme time of need, but its impact will be lost if lenders aren’t able to get these loans to their customers quickly.”

Gabriele Sabato, CEO at Wiserfunding, added: “Unlocking funds that would not be available without our support is our priority. Our risk management technology will help lenders to make the right choices and deploy funds more effectively, while at the same time making sure that SMEs are aware of the impact of the additional debt on their risk profile.

“We are convinced that Trade Ledger, Nimbla & Northrow are the best partners to ensure the success of this initiative and maximise the value for SMEs.”

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The pandemic has affected customer demand, which has left SMEs in urgent need of credit to deal with ongoing costs.

Even before the outbreak began to take hold, SMEs were struggling to gain a sufficient amount of credit, with unmet lending needs collectively totalling over £59 billion.

Because of this, there is concern that government aid, including the British Business Bank’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Lending Scheme (CBILS) funding, will not get to the SMEs in the most need of financial assistance quickly enough.


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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.

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