Disruption, stress tests, market shocks – none of these words and phrases are unfamiliar to those who work in financial services. However, reading an academic paper from a leading business school or listening to a buzzy keynote address is very different from living through the events that underpin these words.
The 2020 global pandemic, caused by the spread of the COVID-19 virus, has eliminated jobs and businesses in a way not seen since the Great Depression of the 20th Century. Millions of us have spent months, hunkered down in our homes, sheltering as if from a natural disaster that limits our travel, freedom and mobility. In many countries political and cultural tensions have been heightened to unmanageable levels. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought all these shocks, and stresses to our doorsteps and high streets in one global perfect storm of disruption.
In general, most are aware of the devastating impact the pandemic has had on the hospitality and travel industries. But in terms of suffering, the most affected have been small to medium sized enterprises in many countries. In the UK alone, over 1.4 billion loans have been offered to businesses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
— Financial News (@FinancialNews) January 18, 2021
Despite the rollout of various vaccines, many global nations will be feeling the economic impact of the pandemic for many years to come. UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has warned that impact, in the UK at least, will “get worse before it gets better.”
The industry is readily showing strain. There have been reports that leading UK banks are refusing to provide mortgages to self-employed workers if they took COVID loans or income grants despite being told by the Government their credit ratings would be unaffected.
Mortgage brokers have said some high street banks are refusing to even consider self-employed applicants if they have taken any of the Government COVID support, including bounce back loans or payments from the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.
However, the view from lenders is more positive. “As a result of COVID, we are seeing an acceleration in the shift towards online in small business lending,” according to Funding Circle, chief executive and founder Samir Desai. “As the largest online SME loans platform, we used our advanced technology to reach record levels of lending in 2020 and we are well placed to capture this enlarged opportunity going forward.”
Funding Circle was the first alternative lender to receive accreditation for the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme (CBILS) last April.
All of this will be discussed at FTT Lending 3.0 as we look at the response to COVID with credit, lending and loans. What role will lenders play in global economic revival?
Our RockStar speakers will answer that question:
- Conrad Ford, Chief Product & Strategy Officer, Allica Bank
- Alexis Kopylov, CEO, DBT
- Emily Hogg, Head of Lending & Investment Operations, Innovate UK
- Matthew Nyong, Vice President – Fintech Warehousing, Silicon Valley Bank
- Brendan Gilmore, MD, BPS Strategy
This is FTT Lending 3.0 – where the power of lending is realised in a 21st Century World.