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Michelle Monck

Consumer Finance Expert
Published: 25/03/2020
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STOP PRESS: CBILS rules have changed

The British Business Bank has announced changes to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme. These changes could see previously rejected businesses now being eligible for the scheme. 

Read more in our story How has the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme changed?

New information about CBILS has received new information about the criteria businesses need to meet to be accepted for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CIBLS).
Our previous article about CIBLS included the broad eligibility criteria set out by the British Business Bank, the Government owned bank that is managing the scheme. It is the lenders though that will decide on the specific criteria and circumstances they will accept to make these business interruption loans available to businesses. Our sources have now confirmed the criteria most lenders will be operating to for loans.

Which businesses could be accepted for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme?

The key aim of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme (CIBLS) is to help viable businesses survive a period of reduced trading due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Businesses looking to be accepted will need to demonstrate that they are viable in the short to medium term in conditions without the pandemic. This could be a grey area for some businesses, particularly those who are start-ups with less than one year’s trading. Furthermore, lenders are also asking for a turnover of at least £100,000 or an annual salary bill greater than £12,500 in 2019.
Businesses will be excluded if their maximum turnover exceeds £45m and if it has received state aid in the last three years. The fishery, aquaculture and agriculture sectors are excluded from the scheme.

How much can a business borrow using CBILS?

Businesses can borrow up to a maximum of 25% of their turnover reported in 2019 or twice their annual wage bill. The minimum loan value is £25,001 and the maximum is £5m.

Key features of CBILS

CIBLs includes loans, asset finance, invoice finance and overdrafts. The key features for loans under the scheme are:

  • Borrow between £25,001 up to £5m
  • Loan terms of between one to six years
  • Low or no arrangement fees – check you with your lender
  • No payments for the first 12 months
  • No early repayment charges in most cases – check with your lender.

What should businesses do that don’t qualify for CIBLS?

Businesses that don’t qualify for CIBLS can still apply for a business loan or commercial mortgage under the standard terms of the lender. There are also the options of invoice finance to release cash flow quickly or asset finance for larger sums of money - again under standard terms.


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