April 09, 2021 at 12:52AM

Starling Bank will be working alongside Funding Options in order to deliver access to finance for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in the U.K., according to a UKTN report.

Starling Bank is the newest member of the Funding Options lending panel, which has more than 120 members. Starling has 5 percent of the U.K. SMB market, the report stated.

There were 5.98 million private businesses that participated in the economy throughout 2020 and the pandemic. SMBs, the report stated, accounted for around 52 percent of turnover and 60 percent of jobs, which came out to 16.6 million jobs.

Starling Bank has issued 2 billion pounds (about $2.7 billion) in government-backed loans amid the pandemic. Two-thirds of the recipients were outside of London, and the company has plans to grow its SMB base more than four-fold, which would give it an 18 percent hold on the U.K. market over the coming five years, according to the report.

Funding Options was no slouch during the pandemic itself, processing over 850 million pounds (about $1.2 billion) in Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) loans. The company used its proprietary technology to match companies that had suitable lending options quickly.

Starling Bank Chief Banking Officer Helen Bierton said the partnership with Funding Options is helping “Starling is making it easier for small businesses to get access to the funds they need to survive, grow and flourish,” per the report.

And Funding Options Chief Revenue Officer Stuart Lawson said in the report that the partnership is “yet another strong signal to business owners that Funding Options will do everything to drive competition in the [SMB] lending market and champion business growth by offering fair, cost effective and competitive choice.”

In separate news, while COVID-19 vaccines are rolling out, U.K. borders might not be so forgiving, PYMNTS reported. The potential for new variants that might not be as susceptible to vaccines has raised the alarms for officials.

Therefore, the government has said travelers coming from 33 “red-list” countries will be mandated to quarantine in hotels as of Feb. 15.

Starling Bank, Funding Options Team On SMB Finance …

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