OakNorth Bank has approved over £50m in new loans to UK businesses since the lockdown began, as well as a further £36m of its initial £50m allocation through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).
As the UK enters its eighth week of lockdown, British businesses continue to feel the prolonged effects of the crisis on the economy. Whilst traditional lenders are retrenching from the SME lending market and instead prioritising loans which come with a Government guarantee, OakNorth Bank has seen an opportunity to support businesses at a time when many will be unable or unwilling to.
Ben Barbanel, Head of Debt Finance at OakNorth Bank, said: “This crisis looks like it’s going to be even worse than the financial crisis of 2008. There will be many businesses that were strong, profitable, healthy businesses before the pandemic which will now be struggling to survive.
“We are trying to find ways to support these businesses and help them through this extremely difficult time, as well as those who have been positively impacted by the lockdown and are looking for debt finance to grow. We are therefore hosting Credit Committees morning, noon and night, as well as on weekends, to try and get capital to the businesses that need it as quickly as possible.”