Ebury has raised a £40m lending facility to help SMEs blocked from other government help

Ebury has raised a £40m lending facility to help SMEs blocked from other government help

Ebury, one of the largest fintech companies in Europe, has launched a £40m funding package for UK and European small businesses.

The Santander-backed firm has raised the initial £40m help SMEs manage their working capital during the coronavirus crisis. Ebury is hoping to expand this programme into the hundreds of millions in collaboration with governments in the UK and Europe.

This initiative is geared towards SMEs who cannot access the government’s controversial Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

>See also: How do I apply for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan?

At the moment the firm is approaching government bodies so that it can distribute financial packages in the coming months. The firm is in talks with the British Business Bank to become an accredited CBILS lender, according to Sky News.

Juan Lobato, co-founder of Ebury, said: “Getting finance to UK companies is essential in helping manage the cash flow pressures they are currently experiencing and Ebury is delighted to be offering this financing initiative. Ebury was founded to fill a gap left by the 2008 financial crisis and in this latest crisis it is ideally placed to help the government’s distribution of its financial aid packages to large and small businesses.”

Santander came on board in November 2019 when it agreed to acquire a 50.1 per cent stake in Ebury for £350m.

The flaws of CBILS

Earlier this week, the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) said that only 2pc of the 701 businesses surveyed had had their loan application approved. That’s only 14 firms.

Research by SmallBusiness.co.uk, also found that 53pc of respondents had their loan applications turned down since the scheme launched on 3 April.

The Treasury is under mounting pressure to guarantee 100pc of loans rather than the current 80pc to speed up access to finance for small businesses dealing with cash flow difficulties.

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