Joe Brewer Consulting Partner

At Budget 2020 on Wednesday 11 March, the Chancellor announced a ‘Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme’, and this is now available.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is now available through participating lenders

It is provided by the British Business Bank through participating providers, and will offer more attractive terms for both businesses applying for new facilities and lenders, with the aim of supporting the continued provision of finance to UK businesses during the Covid-19 outbreak.
The scheme provides the lender with a government-backed guarantee against the outstanding facility balance, potentially enabling a ‘no’ credit decision from a lender to become a ‘yes’.   NB – the borrower always remains 100% liable for the debt.
The Government will also cover the first 12 months of interest payments, so businesses will benefit from lower initial repayments. The business remains liable for repayments of the capital. The maximum value of a facility provided under the scheme will be £5 million pounds 

How can I access the scheme?

CBILS is available through the British Business Bank’s 40+ accredited lenders, which are listed on the British Business Bank website here.
In the first instance, businesses should approach their own provider – ideally via the lender’s website. They may also consider approaching other lenders if they are unable to access the finance they need.
Decision-making on whether you are eligible for CBILS is fully delegated to the 40+ accredited CBILS lenders. These lenders range from high-street banks, to challenger banks, asset-based lenders and smaller specialist local lenders.
Note: if the accredited lender can offer finance on normal commercial terms without the need to make use of the scheme, they will do so.

Additional application notes:
Given there is likely to be a big demand for facilities once the scheme goes live, we ask you to please:

  • Consider applying via the lender’s website in the first instance. Telephone lines are likely to be busy and branches may have limited capacity to handle enquires due to social distancing
  • Consider the urgency of your need – it is possible that some businesses may be looking for regular longer-term finance rather than ‘emergency’ finance, and there may other businesses with a more urgent need to speak with a lender
What types of finance are avaliabe and who offers which type? 

CBILS supports a wide range of business finance facilities, including:

  • Term loans
  • Overdrafts
  • Asset finance
  • Invoice finance

Note: Not every lender can provide every type of finance listed.

CBILS is available through the British Business Bank’s 40+ accredited lenders, which are listed on the British Business Bank website here.

Am I eligible for finance under CBILS?

The scheme is designed to support smaller businesses (SMEs) who don’t meet a lender’s normal lending requirements for a fully commercial loan or other facility, but who are considered viable in the longer-term.
To be eligible for a facility under CIBLS, your business must:

  • Be UK based in its business activity with annual turnover or no more than £45m
  • Have a borrowing proposal which, were it not for the COVID-19 pandemic, would be considered viable by the lender, and for which the lender believes the provision of finance will enable your business to trade out of any short-to-medium term difficulty
  • Smaller businesses from any sector can apply for the full amount of the facility.

Please review our quick eligibility checklist here

Important information for SME's

Please note: The CBILS guarantee is to the lender and not the business. As with any other commercial transaction, the borrower is always 100% liable for repayment of the facility supported by CBILS
CBILS decision making is fully delegated to the accredited lenders. Any queries from a business with an active or historic EFG facility, including guarantee fee collection or alterations to their repayment profile should raise them with their lender, and not with the British Business Bank.
For further information, please read the CIBLS FAQs for SMEs document

Last updated: 23/03/2020
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