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Linked Finance seeks place in €2bn credit scheme

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Chief executive of Linked Finance Niall Dorrian

Chief executive of Linked Finance Niall Dorrian

Chief executive of Linked Finance Niall Dorrian

Peer-to-Peer lender Linked Finance and other non-bank lenders will seek to be included in the state's €2bn credit guarantee scheme.

Niall Dorrian, chief executive of Linked Finance, said that the scheme had been mis-characterised as a pillar bank solution.

"The non-bank sector has to play a critical role in the deployment of these supports. The UK has approved 96 finance providers to help emergency lending, emergency funding," said Dorrian.

"We cannot rely on three banks to do that and it would be foolhardy to do so," he added.

He said that Linked Finance, which deployed €43m to SMEs last year, had already been in discussions regarding the scheme.

"We are confident that the non-bank sector will have a role in delivering the SME Credit Guarantee Scheme, and expect the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland to seek expressions of interest in this regard soon," Dorrian told the Sunday Independent.

Linked Finance said it had worked closely with its borrowers since the crisis hit to help them address difficulties, for example giving an automatic payment break for all borrowers in the hospitality sector.

It has also introduced a new deferred start loan that allows SMEs to borrow up to €100,000 for 15 months but with no capital or interest payments in the first three months of the loan.

Dorrian said that Linked Finance has ambitions to grow the business by expanding into Europe in the coming years.

He said that SME lending would enjoy further innovations, including faster turnaround times on decisions.

Sunday Indo Business