Flexible funding for affected businesses: simplified processes and finance for smaller firms

1st May 2020

Despite frequent steps being taken to streamline and improve processes, recent figures suggest the take-up and approval of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) are still relatively low. 

UK Finance announced that around 25,000 applications had been approved up to 28 April, totaling £4.1 billion in loans. However, this represents an approval rate of just 47% and accounts for just 1% of the total £330 billion made available under the scheme.  

Some reports suggest that only 1% of UK businesses have made an application so far, with the detailed information requirements and time delays in approvals being two main reasons for the lack of activity. 

However, The British Business Bank is continually working with lenders to streamline and automate the eligibility and approval process. We’ve outlined the latest updates to the scheme below, plus share the details of a new scheme targeted at smaller businesses. 

Simplified application process regarding information required for certain lenders  

Seven of the main high street banks have recently issued a joint press release indicating that they will no longer require a set of forward-looking financial forecasts to accompany an application. Instead, applications will be assessed on information that is readily available to business owners, such as historic year-end accounts and monthly management accounts. 

Increased number of accredited lenders 

The number of accredited lenders has been increased to over 50, and businesses can still approach multiple lenders. A rejection of a CBILS application by one lender does not mean a business cannot apply to another lender under the scheme. 

New scheme launching for smaller funding requirements  

On 4 May, a new funding option called the “Bounce Back Loan Scheme” will be launched, targeted at small businesses. You can read the details of the scheme in our recent article here. This will offer businesses a much more straight-forward route to access finance, promising a simple and short application process, and fast access to loans of up to £50,000. Keep an eye on our blog for further information on this scheme. 

Utilise your advisor for the best chance of approval 

Businesses who seek the assistance of their advisors when submitting a loan application are 33% more likely to receive approval*. We are here to guide you through the loan application and take the pain out of the process. 

Our in-house Finance Consultant, Mark Edwards, is on hand to deal with all your initial enquiries. Mark can not only advise on the best funding solution for your business but can also approach multiple lenders on your behalf. We can put together the application for you and collate the additional information that is required. Alternatively, if you wish to submit your own application, you can see our guide here

If you choose to submit your own application, we are offering a free Loan Application Review service to all our clients. We will review your application and the accompanying information before you submit it, and give guidance on any issues that might need to be addressed. 

If you have any questions on the current loan schemes that are available, contact HB&O’s Corporate Finance Director, Greg Philp, on greg.philp@hboltd.co.uk 

*Source: National Association of Corporate Finance Brokers (NACFB)  

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