Your guide to the hard market
Applying for the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS)
With this Government-backed loan, eligible businesses will have access to loans of up to £50,000 or 25% of your annual turnover, whichever is lowest. You will not need to make any payments for this loan for the first 12 months and the Government will fund the first 12 months of interest. The interest rate for the loan will be fixed at 2.5% p.a. and it will stand as a 6-year loan with no early repayment charges.
Since it went live on 4th May 2020, the scheme had already received 100,000 applications by the end of the day. If you think your business is eligible and you have not yet applied, find out how to apply for the BBLS below:
How to apply for the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS)
Find out if you’re eligible
To be eligible for this loan, the British Business Bank has provided the following criteria:
If your business:
- has been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
- was not a business in difficulty at 31 December 2019 (if it was, you must confirm your business complies with additional state aid restrictions under de minimis state aid rules)
- is engaged in trading or commercial activity in the UK and was established by 1 March 2020
- is not using the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) or the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility Scheme (CCFF), unless the Bounce Back Loan will refinance the whole of the CBILS, CLBILS or CCFF facility
- is not in bankruptcy or liquidation or undergoing debt restructuring at the time it submits its application for finance
- derives more than 50% of its income from its trading activity (this requirement does not apply to charities or further-education colleges)
- is not in a restricted sector
If your business is eligible, you will then be required to self-certify by completing a short application form. The British Business Bank website states that at this point, eligible businesses will be “subject to appropriate customer fraud, Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) checks.”
Speak to your lender
You can find a full list of accredited partners through the British Business Bank here, including HSBC, Lloyds Bank and Barclays.
It’s recommended that you approach your current bank for a loan as there are few existing cases of lenders facilitating non-customers at present – although it’s worth trying regardless. If one lender does turn you down, you can apply through other members in the scheme.
Keep in mind that they will be busy so expect long wait times when calling in. If you’re struggling to make an application, try getting in touch some other way. For example, call in if their website servers are down or vice versa. If you’re not getting through, try again at a later time in the day.
Lender makes their decision
Your lender will then have the final authority to determine whether or not to grant your business the loan. With this loan, they do not have the authority as ask for a personal guarantee and the Government will guarantee 100% of the loan – although you will be required to keep up with repayments. As previously mentioned, if your bank turns you down, you have the freedom to apply to a different lender.