Launched on 23 March, today the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) has been significantly expanded along with changes to the scheme’s features and eligibility criteria.

Updated scheme features 

  • No personal guarantees for facilities under £250k: Personal guarantees of any form cannot be taken under the scheme for any facilities below £250k.
  • Personal guarantees for facilities above £250k: Personal guarantees may still be required, at a lender’s discretion, but recoveries under these are capped at a maximum of 20% of the outstanding balance of the CBILS facility after the proceeds of business assets have been applied. A Principal Private Residence (PPR) cannot be taken as security to support a personal guarantee or as security for a CBIL backed facility.
  • Security: For all facilities, including those over £250,000, CBILS can now support lending to smaller businesses even where a lender considers there to be sufficient security, making more smaller businesses eligible to receive the business interruption payment.

These changes should be retrospectively applied by lenders for any CBILS facilities offered since 23 March 2020.  For any commercial (non-CBILS) facilities offered since the same date, providing the borrower meets the CBILS eligibility criteria, lenders have been asked to bring these facilities onto CBILS wherever possible (e.g. where the lender is accredited to offer the same facility through CBILS) and changes retrospectively applied as necessary.

Existing scheme features

  • Up to £5m facility: The maximum value of a facility provided under the scheme is £5m, available on repayment terms of up to six years.
  • No guarantee fee for SMEs to access the scheme: No fee for smaller businesses. Lenders will pay a fee to access the scheme.
  • Interest and fees paid by Government for 12 months: The Government will make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees, so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.
  • Finance terms: Finance terms are up to six years for term loans and asset finance facilities. For overdrafts and invoice finance facilities, terms will be up to three years.
  • 80% guarantee: The scheme provides the lender with a government-backed, partial guarantee (80% gross) against the outstanding facility balance, subject to an overall cap per lender.
  • Principal Private Residence (PPR) – A borrower’s/guarantor’s PPR cannot be taken as security to support a Personal Guarantee or as security for a CBIL backed facility.
  • The borrower always remains 100% liable for the debt.

 Updated eligibility criteria:

Smaller businesses from all sectors can apply for the full amount of the facility. To be eligible for a facility under CBILS a smaller business must:

  • Be UK based in its business activity, with turnover of no more than £45m per year.
  • Have a borrowing proposal which, were it not for the current pandemic, would be considered viable by the lender.
  • Self-certify that it has been adversely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

How to apply

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

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. Not every accredited lender can provide every type of finance available under CBILS.

 

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