Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 16th June 2020.

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Photo of Caroline Lucas Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton, Pavilion

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with lenders accredited under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme; and what recent assessment he has made of the timeliness of those lenders in (a) approving and (b) releasing funds to small businesses that meet the eligibility criteria for that scheme.

Photo of Paul Scully Paul Scully Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (London)

The Government continues to hold a regular dialogue with the largest Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) lenders to monitor its implementation.

There are now over 80 accredited lenders of the CBILS and individual lending decisions remain at the discretion of these lenders. There has been significant demand for the Scheme and lenders are fully aware of the current urgency, so we expect them to respond appropriately to their customers’ needs.

Since the CBILS was introduced, Government has made several improvements to speed up the application process and ensure businesses are getting the support they need. These include:

  • Clarifying that all lenders should use automated, rather than manual, credit checks when assessing the viability of a business;
  • Removing the forward-looking viability test;
  • Removing the per lender portfolio cap; and
  • Removing any requirement for the main lenders to interact with the British Business Bank systems before issuing loans.

As of 14 June, facilities have been issued to 49,247 businesses, with a value of £10.11 billion.

We have also introduced the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS). This scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000. To apply, businesses need to complete a simple online form which can be processed by their lender in a matter of days. As of 14 June, 863,584 loans have been issued, worth £26.34 billion.

We continue to receive feedback on all our support for businesses and will seek to identify any areas for improvement.

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