March 15th, 2020

Financial stimulus reaction

Last night (17th March 2020) the UK government unveiled a package of financial measures to shore up the economy against the coronavirus impact.

These include £330bn for companies to access loans, a business rates holiday, help for small firms without insurance as well as some specific retail, leisure and hospitality promises.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak promised if this package wasn’t enough ‘he would go further’.

Here’s our CEO Stuart Law’s reaction on what it means for both peer-to-peer lending and the wider economy.

“The government has had to act quickly as business distress is rising faster than the virus impact itself. The measures announced today sound like a step in the right direction, but there’s simply not enough detail to be certain yet. We have no doubt at all that more will be done in the coming days and weeks.

“But most importantly, this is a strong signal of intent that goes well beyond that announced in the budget just a few days ago. The government will not see UK plc stumble and is willing to take drastic supportive action. And we already see this happening across the world right now, France was the first to move with monumental economic support, and the UK certainly won’t be the last.

“What does that mean for peer-to-peer lending? Well, we would expect this support to substantially strengthen business and consumer confidence, and significantly strengthen our borrowers’ businesses. While we are not there yet, UK companies look likely to be soon ‘government-backed’.

“On top of this we continue to see investor inflows from Retail and Institutional investors who see the value of property-backed security on each loan.

“We will continue to play our part in supporting British businesses – the SMEs and housebuilders that are the lifeblood of our economy. We are seeing unprecedented borrower demand and are totally committed to playing our part in helping our country through this difficult period.”