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More coronavirus loan scheme lenders approved

14 April 2020: A tranche of new Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme lenders have been approved by the British Business Bank.

The British Business Bank, the UK government’s economic development bank set up in 2014, has announced its approval for the Co-operative Bank, Cynergy Bank, OakNorth Bank and Starling Bank as new lenders for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

Following approval, the four finance houses will be putting in place the operations required to start lending under the scheme and will confirm dates from which they will be ready to start receiving CBILS applications from smaller businesses across the UK.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme aims to provide a lifeline of finance to UK SMEs during the Covid-19 outbreak with loans of up to £5m repayable over terms up to six years. The scheme, made available to companies via more than 40 accredited lenders, supports a wide range of business finance products, including term loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance facilities.

The scheme was extended on April 3 to include larger companies.

Commenting on the news David Petrie, Head of Corporate Finance, Corporate Finance Faculty, ICAEW said: “This is a tough time for business, and an extension of CBILS will help money to get to cash-strapped businesses hesitant to pay suppliers. 

“But bank loans and debt funding are not a panacea. Further measures and support – including extending the scheme to other lenders, and equity investments rather than cash loans - are also needed to help businesses.” 

Keith Morgan, CEO, British Business Bank, said: “Our accredited lenders have seen an incredible demand for CBILS in the past few weeks, so we are helping to meet that demand and provide even more choice for smaller businesses by approving additional lenders for accreditation to the scheme. These new lenders will be able to deploy vital funding and get additional finance flowing to smaller businesses across the UK as quickly as possible.”

Shortly before the launch of CBILS, three lenders – Arkle Finance, Close Brothers and Secure Trust Bank – were accredited under the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) scheme and have also been accredited under CBILS to take applications from smaller businesses. Coutts has been accredited for CBILS as part of RBS Group’s existing accreditation.