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Covid-19 lender update – July 2020


Across the UK, many aspects of the lockdown brought in to halt the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic are beginning to ease, but everyday life remains far from normal. We’ll update this post to help you keep track of developments and the potential implications for the UK economy.

Shops across the country have all been allowed to reopen their doors. Customers in England and Scotland have to wear face coverings, although children and those with certain health conditions are exempt. In Wales, face coverings are currently mandatory on public transport, but not in shops.

Pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants have reopened in England and Scotland, while indoor pubs and restaurants are scheduled to resume trading in Wales from 3 August.

It’s clear that the lockdown has had a major impact on the UK economy, which shrank by a 19.1% in the three months to May, according to the Office for National Statistics. However, Bank of England chief economist Andy Haldane has said that the UK could be on course for a quick – or “V-shaped” – recovery.

Supporting our borrowers
You may remember that we offered repayment holidays to existing borrowers to enable them to focus on the long-term wellbeing of their business during this pandemic. All requests were assessed on a case-by-case basis by our Credit Team, and those that took a break are now resuming their scheduled repayments.

We did not charge borrowers any fees for arranging a repayment holiday. We have also waived our fees for changing repayment dates to help borrowers better plan their cashflow requirements.

As a responsible lending platform, we remain in regular contact with all our borrowers and have developed information guides to ensure they are aware of the many support measures that are available. These guides, which we update as more information becomes available, are tailored for SMEs in England, Scotland and Wales and you can download them from this blog post.

Current lending situation
As expected, opportunities to lend responsibly to new borrowers have reduced significantly during these unprecedented times. We tightened our credit policy around sectors that were particularly impacted by the pandemic and continue to monitor the situation closely. Demand for lending has been affected by the launch of government-backed initiatives such as the Bounce Back Loan Scheme and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). On 1 July, we announced that we had been approved for accreditation as a CBILS lender by the British Business Bank, which manages the scheme on behalf of the UK Government, and we are working on an imminent launch.

As explained in previous updates, we switched off auto-investment on Growth and Income accounts, and Autobid on Self Select accounts, to give lenders time to have a pause and assess their approach to lending on our platform. Many of our lenders have restarted these functions, and it’s quick and simple to get going again.

Auto-investment
With auto-investment switched off, Growth and Income account holders will see cash building up in their accounts. Our loan market is open and, if lenders are happy for our platform to resume purchasing loan parts on their behalf as before, they can reactivate this feature quickly and easily by:

  • Logging in to their LendingCrowd dashboard
  • Choosing the account they want to change
  • Selecting ‘Manage account’, then ‘Manage your repayments’
  • Choosing Growth Mode or Income Mode to reactivate auto-investment

Autobid
To restart Autobid as before, lenders can change their settings simply by:

  • Logging in to their LendingCrowd dashboard
  • Choosing the Self Select account they want to change
  • Selecting ‘Manage account’, then ‘Configure Autobid’

If you need any help to enable auto-investment or Autobid, or you have any other questions, please email investor@lendingcrowd.com or call 0345 564 1600.

On behalf of our community of borrowers, thank you to all our lenders for their continued support.

Article author

Gareth Mackie

Gareth Mackie

If you invest through LendingCrowd you should understand that your capital is at risk.

LendingCrowd is the trading name of Edinburgh Alternative Finance Limited, Company Number SC468392, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Firm reference number 670991). LendingCrowd and its products are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Read more about the risk involved when investing and borrowing.

The company's registered office is 23 Manor Place, Edinburgh, EH3 7DX.

Copyright © LendingCrowd 2020. All rights reserved.

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LendingCrowd is working with the British Business Bank to help deliver CBILS loans to SMEs affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Find out more: