Conister Finance & Leasing: Specialist lenders may not have access to finance from BoF
Business loan broker Conister Finance & Leasing has warned about the damage that might be done, particularly for small to medium enterprises (SMEs), due to the omission of specialist lenders from COVID-19 support strategies.
Commenting on specialist lenders potentially not having access to finance from the Bank of England, Douglas Grant, director of Conister Finance & Leasing, said: “UK SMEs are not just the lifeblood of the economy – [they are] where innovation and creativity happens.
“In recent times, alternative lenders have worked alongside larger more traditional clearing banks, offering a funnel of vital liquidity through tailored and flexible lending solutions to SMEs.
“Since the epidemic took hold, the UK government has been quick to back sectors that are resilient to recessions and market volatility, providing financial security and protection through initiatives such as the bounce-back loans scheme.
“Today we are facing a significant double dip recession that could last well into late 2021 and the economy will need these resilient sectors to be protected and their existence guaranteed.
“This is where alternative lenders that understand the very basic needs of specialist SMEs, often in their lending infancy and operating in sectors such as infrastructure, technology and renewables, can provide the additional support and natural lending progression alongside the larger clearing banks.
“According to The City UK, it is estimated that businesses may build up £100bn of debt by next March which they would be unable to repay, with 780,000 SMEs in danger of insolvency.
“Larger clearing banks, already under pressure from mortgage lending, will not be able to keep the UK SME sector [stay] alive by themselves.
“We would welcome both more financial support for the alternative lending sector but also more sustainable initiatives to support SMEs in more resilient sectors from the Bank of England as we come to terms with an increasingly urgent capital hungry economy.”