A group of industry experts and fintech leaders from the lending sector have come together to form a taskforce to support SMEs in obtaining funding during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
The taskforce will use its expertise and technology to provide a lending engine to allow banks, alternative lenders and private investors to deploy funds at market-leading speed and scale.
Trade Ledger, Wiserfunding, Nimbla, and NorthRow, alongside leading industry experts, have formed the initial business lending taskforce and are inviting others to join.
LONDON, 24th March, 2020: Trade Ledger, a digital lending platform; Wiserfunding, a digital SME credit scoring platform; Nimbla, a trade credit insurance provider, and NorthRow a remote client onboarding platform have established a new fintech taskforce to provide a ready-to-use lending platform that allows banks, alternative lenders and private debt lenders deploy funds to businesses during the Covid-19 outbreak.
The coronavirus pandemic has caused immediate and potentially long-lasting impacts to the UK’s economy. The sudden and profound impact on customer demand is leaving SMEs in chronic need of credit to manage their ongoing costs and may well lead to a recession over the coming months. However, even before the crisis, SMEs were struggling to access enough credit, with over £59 billion in unmet lending needs. As such, the concern of the taskforce is that, even though extraordinary measures have been taken by government to offer grants, loans and guarantees, funding may not get to those SMEs that need it most – or in the timeframe needed.
Expedite lending to access urgent funding
The objective of the taskforce is to put a state-of-the-art lending platform at the disposal of the industry to help alleviate the crisis and expedite the allocation of funding. The lending platform, which combines the best technology and data to digitally originate, manage and service lending to SMEs, could be used by individual lenders or, it is hoped, would form the basis of a consortium that would intermediate between multiple lenders – including private funds, such as Fasanara, and the British Business Bank – and the multitude of SMEs seeking lending. The platform can support any type of term loans, invoice finance, inventory finance and asset finance and can handle new loan applications in as little as four minutes.
Martin McCann, CEO at Trade Ledger added:
“With the COVID-19 outbreak putting immense financial pressure on global supply chains, now more than ever, small suppliers 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 establishes 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 says:
“We are proud to support such an important initiative at this critical time. 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 Tradeledger and Nimbla are the best partners to ensure the success of this initiative and maximise the value for SMEs.”
Flemming Bengsten, CEO at Nimbla says:
“We are working together with our coalition partners and industry leaders to propose a government-backed scheme, specifically for SMEs, for credit insurance which will encourage them to continue to offer credit terms. The scheme will also help unlock invoice finance, supply chain finance and other working capital finance solutions by adding the backstop required to offer finance at acceptable levels for SMEs.”
Adrian Black, CEO at NorthRow says:
The Covid-19 pandemic is causing massive strain on a great many businesses who urgently need to access finance. Assistance from the Government is essential and welcome but speed is critical, as businesses need funds fast and some will simply not survive long application processes. Anything that speeds up processing therefore, including rapid Know Your Business client onboarding, deserves support and NorthRow are happy to step in and help with a flexible but compliant approach to the problem.
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About Trade Ledger
Trade Ledger (www.tradeledger.io) was founded in 2016 to help the financial services sector reimagine commercial lending for mid-market corporates in the new digital economy. Our Lending-as-a-Service (LaaS) platform enables banks and alternative finance providers to automate their commercial lending operations at scale.
Wiserfunding (www.wiserfunding.com) enables traditional and alternative lenders to better allocate funds to SMEs, helping them to build their assets, lend money in a risk-managed way, and reduce the cost of acquiring new customers. Wiserfunding’s platform requires just a company number to get started and is managed by a team of risk experts.
Nimbla (www.nimbla.com)| offers credit insurance designed for SMEs; single invoice, single risk and “pay-as-you-trade” products that give SMEs the protection they need at a price they can afford. Through their parent company TCT (tct.insure) they offer digital risk transfer via API as well as broker platforms and white-label solutions.
NorthRow (www.northrow.com) is an end-to-end automated onboarding and monitoring compliance solution for SMEs and other B2B and B2C firms. Comprehensive real-time AML/KYB/KYC client onboarding compliance of entities, individuals, identities and identity documents at the point of onboarding and during the customer lifecycle, rapidly increases time to revenue and helps businesses get on with doing business.
Original Press Release published in FinTech Taskforce, 25th Mar 2020: https://www.information-age.com/fintech-taskforce-established-help-smes-cope-with-covid-19-pandemic-123488530/