AskIf – an inclusive finance company that facilitates business loans for startups and SMEs who may have been denied funding by other lenders – appoints former CEO of Start Up Loans to their senior management team.
Also recruiting former Director of Corporate Portfolio Management at Santander as new Head of Credit Risk.
Both will play a critical role as the firm delivers the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).
Joanna Hill, former CEO of Start Up Loans, has been appointed as Commercial Director at AskIf – one of the 40 CBILS Accredited Lenders. Hill was instrumental in building the Start Up Loans Company, which supported 50,000 Startups during her time there. She will bring her wealth of experience in enabling funding for developing businesses, ensuring UK SMEs can access funding made available through the scheme.
AskIf has also appointed a new Head of Credit Risk, Arnon Aviram, from Santander. Avrim is an experienced financial services and banking professional, specialising in SME lending and Corporate and Commercial Banking.
The CBIL scheme, which is providing financial support to smaller businesses (SMEs) across the UK that are losing revenue as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, is being distributed by banks and lenders like AskIf.
As a lender that exists to address the gap in funding to small businesses, AskIf are leading the charge in inclusive lending through the scheme – drawing upon both Joanna and Avrim’s experience, and assisting businesses who may struggle to obtain loans from larger banks. Their aim is to make the path to the CBILS loan as accessible as possible.
The scheme is a part of a wider package of government support for UK businesses and employees. CBILS gives the lender a government-backed guarantee for the loan repayments to encourage more lending.
Hill said: “’I’m delighted to be working with the team at this crucial time. The company has already achieved so much, but I know we can do more, and help more people and businesses in the future. The opportunity to be involved in supporting UK SMEs facing difficulties as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic really appealed to me and the AskIf approach and values made this opportunity irresistible. AskIf seeks to really understand the story and the people behind each business and the whole team is motivated to make a difference.”
Sam Bamert, Founder and CEO of AskIf, commented: “I’m delighted to welcome Joanna and Arnon to the AskIf team. At this difficult time I felt it was important to build a strong team who understood the challenges UK SMEs are facing. Arnon’s credit risk expertise, coupled with Joanna’s huge experience and ability to get things done, perfectly complements the rest of the AskIf team, and means we are ready, willing and able to disburse funds under CBILS. We hope the support we provide will improve the sustainability of all the businesses we fund during and post the period of Coronavirus disruption.”