"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."
Small business lender iwoca has laid out its ambitions to lend an additional £100 million to businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) before applications close on 31st January 2021. This will bring its total lending to over £200 million.
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. 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.
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.
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 2nd December.
Michael Elalouf, CFO of 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.”