About the Recovery Loan Scheme

In this section:

The Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) is available for businesses through a number of British Business Bank accredited lenders across the UK.

The Recovery Loan Scheme aims to improve the terms on offer to borrowers. If a lender can offer a commercial facility on better terms, they will do so.

How RLS can help you

1. You need finance

If your business needs finance, you might want to consider choosing an RLS accredited lender.

2. You approach a lender

You should approach a lender yourself, ideally via its website.

Not every accredited lender provides every type of finance, and the amount of finance offered varies between lenders. Please see the lenders’ websites for more information on the amounts and type of finance they can offer.

3. The lender makes a decision

The lender will assess your application. If a lender can offer a commercial facility on better terms than an RLS-backed facility, they will do so. If that is not the case, and you are eligible for support under the scheme, a lender may use RLS to help offer you the finance you need.

Please note that all facilities – including RLS-backed facilities – are provided at the discretion of the lender. Under RLS, lenders are required to undertake their standard credit, fraud, Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) checks for all applicants.

If one lender turns you down, you can still approach other lenders – including those within the scheme.

Eligibility criteria include:

  • Turnover limit: The scheme is open to smaller businesses with a turnover of up to £45 million (on a group basis, where part of a group);
  • UK-based: The borrower must be carrying out trading activity in the UK and, for most businesses, generating more than 50% of its income from trading activity1 ;
  • Viability test: The lender must consider that the borrower has a viable business proposition but may disregard any concerns over its short-to-medium term business performance due to the uncertainty and impact of Covid-19;
  • Business in difficulty: The borrower must not be a business in difficulty, including not being in collective insolvency proceedings;
  • Subsidy limits: The assistance provided through RLS is regarded as a subsidy and is deemed to benefit the borrower. There is a limit to the amount of subsidy a borrower can receive within a rolling three-year period, and borrowers will need to provide written confirmation that receipt of the RLS facility will not mean that the business exceeds this limit. All borrowers in receipt of a public subsidy should be provided with a written statement, confirming the amount and type of subsidy received. More information on subsidies is available here.

The following businesses are not eligible under RLS:

  • Public-sector bodies;
  • State-funded primary and secondary schools;
  • Banks, building societies, insurers and reinsurers (excluding insurance brokers).

4. Need further information

View our Recovery Loan Scheme FAQs for businesses

What a lender will need from you

When you apply for finance, you’ll need to provide certain evidence to show that you can afford to repay the facility. This is likely to include the following:

  • Management accounts
  • Business plan
  • Historic accounts
  • Details of assets
  • Details of previous subsidy awards

Decision-making on whether a business is eligible for RLS is fully delegated to the British Business Bank’s accredited RLS lenders.

For more information on the Recovery Loan Scheme, read our FAQs for businesses.

Other business finance support options

The British Business Bank’s Finance Hub has a range of guidance and resources for businesses, including information on how to manage your cashflow and where to find independent advice.

  • 1

    Charities and Further Education colleges are exempt from complying with the 50% trading income criterion for facilities offered after 9 March 2023

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