Tide Bounce Back Loans / Update 3 / A letter to all members from Oliver, our CEO
Our CEO, Oliver Prill, has written another open letter to all Tide members to update you on Bounce Back Loans.
Dear Tide members,
In our last update, on 10 June, I wrote about sourcing funding for the Bounce Back Loans we’re issuing. I wrote that the loans are 100% guaranteed by the Government but not funded by the Government, and that ‘guaranteed’ means that if the lender doesn’t collect the loan, the Government reimburses the lender.
To be absolutely clear: the Government does not provide the funding required for the Bounce Back Loans.
We’ve made the difficult decision to pause lending
Many of you have told us that you don’t have alternatives and that you’re depending on getting a Bounce Back Loan from Tide. The vast majority of businesses on our waiting list have been existing members that count on Tide to support them. Our sense of responsibility towards you and our mission to do everything we can to support small businesses is what drove us to achieve accreditation as a Bounce Back Loan lender.
Over the last month, my team and I have been working with a number of financial institutions to secure funding to lend through the scheme. I’m grateful to all the Tideans who’ve given up many evenings and weekends to help us with this. However, the design of the Government’s Bounce Back Loan Scheme doesn’t meet the requirements of our prospective funding partners to be able to provide the funding for us to lend to you.
Until this morning, we were hopeful that we could secure more funding for Tide Bounce Back Loans. We felt it was our responsibility to let you know as soon as we learned this news and that we’ve had to make the difficult decision to pause lending and close the waiting list.
While we made it clear when registering on our waiting list that we couldn’t guarantee a Bounce Back Loan for every eligible business who registered, and we suggested that you should sign up with alternative lenders as well, we do know that many of you were counting on Tide.
We’re very sorry that on this occasion we couldn’t rise to this challenge and meet your expectations.
We’re campaigning for the Government to provide the funding for your Bounce Back Loans
The way the Bounce Back Loan Scheme is set up makes it very easy for banks with large pools of funding available, but not for fintech companies like Tide.
Therefore, we’re in conversation with our contacts at HM Treasury about the Government providing the necessary funding for the Scheme directly to lenders, rather than lenders sourcing capital from investors or other financial institutions.
As reported in the press, the Government has been considering this for some time, and there are examples where the Government is directly providing funding for the Coronavirus Business Support (for example, for the Future Fund).
With the “whatever it takes” approach the Chancellor has taken to supporting the economy, we believe this is a good opportunity for the Government to make changes that will significantly benefit our members and the UK economy overall.
What you need to do now
While we continue to campaign, I’m concerned that such changes won’t be in place in the very short term. Please do consider signing up or applying for a loan with another accredited lender.
We hope this is not the end of Tide Bounce Back Loans
We tried our best to make the Government’s Bounce Back Loan Scheme work. I know of many of your frustrations and rather than setting them aside, they drove us to work as hard as we could.
Unfortunately, we can’t change the Scheme by ourselves, but you have our commitment that we stand ready to immediately lend at scale through the Bounce Back Loan Scheme if and when the necessary changes have been made by the Government.
In the meantime, we’ll do our utmost to continue to support you across our other crisis support initiatives. For information and support, visit our COVID-19 help hub, and to check what other Government support your business might be eligible for, use our eligibility checker.
Oliver Prill, CEO, Tide