This is a worrying time for business owners. Many are already facing cash flow problems and steep revenue declines due to the Covid-19 crisis. The government has launched an unprecedented support package for small, medium and large businesses in the form of government-backed loans – but the challenge is how to get the money out as quickly as possible to those who need it. 

Efficiency of applying for, processing and delivering loans has never been more important. Many businesses cannot wait months for the money to come through – they have staff to pay and overheads to maintain.

Some businesses will not survive until the summer without this loan. Others are struggling on, hoping that government assistance will keep them afloat until trading conditions improve. While business owners cope with the stress of uncertain economic times, there has been a huge uptake of this financial lifeline, given its relatively favourable terms. It will form an essential part of the plan to help the UK’s businesses survive this crisis. 

However, its delivery is a massive undertaking. Lenders are overwhelmed with applications. All loan applications, eligibility checks and payments have to be done digitally, as there is no opportunity for face to face meetings or the exchange of paperwork. Lenders need a simple, efficient and streamlined solution to help them get the money out to the right companies, whatever their size, as quickly as possible. 


The challenge for lenders: delivering in a time-pressured evironment

Expectations have been raised and lenders will be judged on the efficiency of their delivery during this time of crisis. 

The stakes are particularly high for larger banks with a national reputation for business banking, as they will be expected to deliver a speedy response. Smaller lenders may find they are taking on many new business customers as a result of the loan programme and need to ensure that they are able to manage demand without disappointing new borrowers.

While it is a great opportunity to be at the forefront of helping companies, there is also a risk that if lenders do not deliver a fast and efficient service, they will be judged harshly by customers and the public.


Speeding up the process to help companies in distress

There is an opportunity to support UK businesses, create new and lasting relationships with customers, and make a real difference to local communities who depend on businesses for employment and income.

However, the huge operational strain on lenders is not going to ease any time soon – there are around 5.9 million SMEs in the UK and, as of mid-May, only 63 lenders have joined the government’s flagship Coronavirus Business Loan Interruption scheme (CBILS). 

Expectations are high and effective delivery is important – but it is made all the more difficult by remote working and having to process everything digitally.

Having helped hundreds of lenders in the US as part of a similar government scheme there, Salesforce has a suite of products to help you deliver the best experience to your customers. Based on extensive research with strategic partners in the UK and incorporating our experience of government-backed loans in the US, we are able to offer a solution which provides a seamless end to end experience for the customer.


How Salesforce brought expertise from the US to the UK

The US CARES Act was passed in March 2020 and contained $359 billion (followed by an additional $310 billion) in relief for American workers and small businesses. Dozens of lenders in the US used solutions developed by Salesforce to administer loans via the US Small Business Administration (SBA) scheme.

In the UK, we leveraged our US experience and worked closely with some of our most strategic banking customers to get feedback and build a robust solution that really addressed the needs of their customers. There are three programmes where we can offer solutions:

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) offers loans from £50k to £5m for smaller businesses. Our solution covers digital customer engagement (customer portal for application, submission and e-signature of documents), inbound loan triage and origination (sending requests to a relevant relationship manager or using straight-through processing where possible), and analytics for managers.

The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) provides loans of up to £25 million and our solution is similar to CBILS.

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) is for SMEs, micro businesses and companies requiring smaller loans and Salesforce has been putting together a digital platform to assist lenders administering these loans, to be launched very soon.

The loan volumes from CBILS in particular are already creating huge operational strains on lenders. Yet it is imperative for lenders to scale up fast to meet SME demand. This is where Salesforce’s solutions can help.


How the Salesforce CBILS Solution can help lenders

Businesses need cash quickly – the speed and efficiency of their lenders could be a make or break issue for them. How you support and deliver help to business now will define your long term relationship with those customers. Salesforce provides a seamless end to end solution that can be integrated with any back-end loan origination system and can be customized for your needs.

Our recent webinar explains how we can help lenders set up our solution quickly, and how it can be integrated with existing systems.

Our solutions for CBILS, CLBILS and BBLS can help lenders adapt and provide a solution that is fast to market, scalable, agile and unified. They can be up and running in two to three weeks.

Watch our webinar for an in-depth explanation of how our solution works for CBILS and how it can help you and your customers.