eBay rivals banks with new small business loans

eBay UK has announced a new finance programme for small businesses.

Capital for eBay Business Sellers (CEBS) will involve a number of financing products for the 300,000 small and medium sized businesses that sell via the UK platform.

The move marks the online marketplace’s biggest push into financial services to date, since it began rolling out the management of payments made on the platform last year.

“Small businesses make up 99 per cent of all UK businesses, yet they have been financially excluded from traditional lenders and let down by COVID support schemes,” said Murray Lambell, general manager, eBay UK. “That’s led to a serious under-investment, leaving many at risk of going under while others are prevented from reaching their full potential.”

Lambell said that the new programme aims to “plug this gap” by giving small businesses quick access to financing options.

“With 300,000 UK small businesses trading on eBay, this proposition will help them reinvest, protect jobs, and succeed, even as the government’s support schemes dry up,” he added.

The launch follows new research from eBay UK which found 31 per cent of the UK’s 5.9 million small businesses face going bust in under a month due to inadequate access to financing.

The study also revealed that 40 per cent of small businesses have been denied a loan from a bank, while one in three have been turned down for a loan by the government.

When considering Covid loans specifically, 44 per cent said they have not accessed any Covid support in the past 12 months.

YouLend is the first of three financing platforms announced as part of CEBS, giving eBay business sellers access to funding ranging from £500 to £1 million, which is then repaid directly from their sales.

eBay already has access to seller trading history and performance, so eligible sellers only need to complete an application form. eBay said that companies receive offers in minutes, with more than 90 per cent of sellers “receiving funds the very same day they accept an offer.”

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