Canadian Lending Looks Strong Post-Pandemic

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Toronto CanadaAfter having their entire industry threatened by pandemic-induced restrictions, the Canadian alternative finance space has started 2022 off with a bang. Canadian lending saw billions in growth, as the industry hopes to utilize fintech’s technology and the government’s new take on open banking to bring their industry back to full swing. 

“Main Street small business recovery is looking very strong for 2022 as restrictions ease moving into the warmer weather,” said Tal Schwartz, Senior Advisor for the Canadian Lenders Association. “However, in the short term, lenders are paying close attention to the Omicron variant, and particularly how aggressive the federal government is prepared to be in terms of sustained subsidies.”

Despite the uncertainty of the next several months, Canadian finance seems to have a healthy balance of offering modern financial products alongside an effort a return to normalcy. The crypto-lender Ledn raised $70M USD for the world’s first crypto-secured mortgage product, while the BNPL company Flexiti received a $527M facility from the National Bank of Canada. Merchant Growth, a small business lender, also raised $4m in equity financing. 

According to Schwartz, most lenders who stayed in business used the last year to deeply invest in their technology across the board. 

“[Lenders] have equally repositioned themselves in ways that better service a post-pandemic SMB clientele,” he said. “There is significant effort among lenders to evolve into financial health dashboards of a business, rather than being viewed exclusively as a financing source.”

According to the numbers, there has been significant growth by two notable Canadian lenders that are acting both as a financial management tool and a lending source. Canada’s largest subprime lender goeast Ltd, and Borrowell, a mobile loan marketplace, achieved $2B in portfolios and 2M users respectively to end the year. 

“Fintech platforms become more sticky and can capture more client data if they become a hub for business management, with financing simply being a component of their platform,” said Schwartz. “Fintech lenders are coming out of the pandemic much stronger and with a sharper mandate than before.”

Last modified: January 11, 2022
Adam ZakiAdam Zaki was a Reporter at deBanked.

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