iwoca, one of Europe’s largest small business lenders, has laid out its ambitions to lend an additional £100m to businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) before applications close on 31 January 2021. This will bring its total lending to over £200m.
This comes as analysis of Treasury figures shows that iwoca approved one in every 18 of all loans via the scheme in the last month, helping hundreds of small businesses affected by the pandemic. Since launching its CBILS offering in May, iwoca has steadily increased its share of total approvals in the scheme, rising from 1.6% in August to 5.6% in October.
The fintech lender recently surpassed £100m worth of lending through CBILS to businesses grappling with the fallout of the economic crisis caused by the virus. With less than three months to go, iwoca hopes to double this to help more small businesses weather the crisis.
iwoca focuses on helping new customers on to the scheme
As applications now close in January, iwoca is redoubling its efforts on helping new customers to access finance in the remaining period. The lender opened up CBILS applications to new businesses in July, and over the past month 83% of iwoca’s approvals through the scheme were given to new customers.
iwoca is also increasing the maximum loan value available to businesses through CBILS from £500,000 to £750,000. With much of the UK having entered into stricter lockdown measures, this will ensure that firms can access the finance they need in the face of growing economic pressures.
iwocaPay drops all fees during UK lockdown
In a move to further help small businesses navigate the pandemic, iwoca’s invoice payments product – iwocaPay – will be free to use throughout the UK’s second national lockdown. The payments product that allows sellers to get paid upfront while letting customers spread their costs over 90 days will have all of its fees dropped until the UK emerges from a second national lockdown on 2 December.
Michael Elalouf, CFO, iwoca said, “Small business owners have had an incredibly tough year, and we’re grateful that we’ve been able to play our part in helping them to get through this crisis.
“With the recent CBILS extension, our focus is now on reaching as many business owners as possible who think they could benefit from Government backed finance. iwoca stands ready to help those customers who are struggling to get the support they need from the high street banks during this time.”
Garry Barker, Managing Director of property development and construction company – Dream Developments, and iwoca CBILS customer added, “We develop commercial premises for local businesses. Pre-pandemic we had big expansion plans but these were shelved due to the lack of mainstream funding. To survive, we’ve had to adapt – we’ve diversified into developing storage containers instead of buildings for our clients, to address a local shortfall in availability. We’d have never been able to pivot the business and go down this path if it were not for the government schemes and of course iwoca. Being able to invest this way helps our business, local businesses and the general public at a very difficult time.”