Peer-to-peer lender approved to provide CBILS loans


FOLK2FOLK the South West company which matches local businesses looking for loans with individual investors through its award-winning peer to peer lending platform, has been approved for accreditation by the British Business Bank as a lender under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), placing the South West lender on the financial frontline of support for local businesses.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered through British Business Bank accredited lenders, supports the continued provision of finance to UK smaller businesses (SMEs) during the Covid-19 outbreak. The scheme enables lenders to provide facilities of up to £5m to smaller businesses across the UK who are experiencing lost or deferred revenues, leading to disruptions to their cashflow.

FOLK2FOLK will soon be able to accept CBILS applications and will initially focus on its existing borrowers but intends to expand this to accept new enquiries in due course.

To date, FOLK2FOLK has facilitated £360 million in business loans, with around £22 million being lent during the pandemic. The accreditation will enable FOLK2FOLK to provide property-secured loans between £50,001 and £5m to SMEs that require financial support due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Louis Mathers, FOLK2FOLK Co-Founder and Director, said: “I am very proud that FOLK2FOLK has been approved for accreditation by the British Business Bank. As a Cornish business launched seven years ago, this accreditation to deliver CBILS cements FOLK2FOLK’s position within the financial landscape.

“As the originator of The Local Lending Movement, FOLK2FOLK’s purpose has always been to support Britain’s local and rural businesses. Throughout the pandemic we have continued to lend to businesses and play a vital role in helping to keep the economy moving. Our CBILS accreditation will help us increase the support we are able to give.

“We will soon be in a position to receive applications and look to quickly help businesses by initially focusing on our existing borrowers. After that, we intend to open for CBILS applications from non-customers but will announce that in due course.

“With lock-down conditions now easing, our accreditation is well timed to help those needing to invest in new ways of operating, considering a new direction or diversifying. We will make further announcements about making CBILS available to new borrowers in due course.”

In May FOLK2FOLK revealed it had made a profit of nearly £200,000 for the financial year February 2019 to January 2020.

The year 2019 saw FOLK2FOLK streamline its loan origination; complete its largest loan and sign its first local authority investor.