Citi launches SME lending platform

Citi has announced the launch of a new digital lending platform to help small and medium sized businesses connect with regional, local, and community banks online for loans of up to $10 million.

‘Bridge built by Citi’ is part of the bank’s wider plans to expand its digital-first portfolio for financial services.

The platform will initially include 18 banks and will be available through a pilot programme across the Southeast and Rockies regions of the US.

"Citi believes in the power of local, small businesses and continues to find ways to support businesses that are the foundation of communities across the U.S. Citi funded loans totalling more than $5 billion as part of the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program during 2020 and 2021,” said Richard Banziger, head of Citi’s US commercial bank. “As both a lender and a community stakeholder, we have a deep understanding of the problems businesses face when trying to navigate the borrowing process.”

Banziger added: “We are committed to finding digital solutions that can make the process easier, more seamless and more equitable.”

The digital lending platform is designed to help “democratise” the loan process for lenders and borrowers, enabling capital access for smaller business owners impacted by the pandemic and populations that have historically been underserved.

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