Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) – for SMEs and Advisors

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is available for SMEs through more than 100 accredited lenders across the UK.

Please read our CBILS FAQs for businesses

How to apply

1.             Find a lender

View and select a CBILS accredited lender

2.             Approach a lender

You should approach a lender yourself, ideally via the lender’s website.

Note: There is high demand for CBILS facilities. Phone lines are likely to be busy and branches may not be able to handle enquiries in person.

Not every accredited lender can provide every type of finance available under CBILS, and the amount of finance offered varies between lenders. Please see the lenders’ websites for more information on the amounts they are able to offer.

3.             The lender makes a decision

The lender has the authority to decide whether to offer you finance.

Under the scheme, lenders will not take personal guarantees of any form for facilities below £250,000.

For facilities above £250,000, personal guarantees may still be required, at a lender’s discretion, but:

  • they exclude the Principal Private Residence (PPR), and
  • 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

4.             If the lender turns you down

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

Access to the scheme has now been opened up to smaller businesses facing cashflow difficulties who previously would not have been eligible for CBILS because they met the requirements for a standard commercial facility.

You may therefore consider re-contacting your lender if you have previously been unsuccessful in securing funding.

Who is eligible

Your business must:

  • be UK-based in its business activity
  • have an annual turnover of no more than £45 million
  • have a borrowing proposal which the lender would consider viable, were it not for the current pandemic
  • self-certify that it has been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • not have been classed as a “business in difficulty”, if it is applying to borrow £30,000 or more

From 25 September 2020, criteria around the classifications of “businesses in difficulty” changed. View the criteria changes

Lenders will need further information to confirm eligibility. All lending decisions remain fully delegated to the 100+ accredited lenders.

CBILS Checklist

We have created a checklist to help you understand if you may be eligible to apply for a CBILS-backed facility. Note: this is a quick reference guide and not confirmation that you will be approved.

View the CBILS Checklist

Businesses from any sector can apply, except the following:

  • Banks, insurers and reinsurers (but not insurance brokers)
  • Public-sector bodies
  • State-funded primary and secondary schools

View our CBILS FAQs for businesses

What lenders will need from you

When you apply for a business loan, most lenders will ask you for the following:

Details of the loan

  • The amount you would like to borrow
  • What the money is for – the lender will check that it’s a suitable business purpose and the right type of finance for your needs
  • The period over which you will make the repayments – the lender will assess whether the loan is affordable for you. Following the Chancellor’s announcement of his “plan to extend the government guarantee on these loans for up to 10 years, making it easier for lenders to give people more time to repay”, the British Business Bank (BBB) will continue to work with Her Majesty’s Government in respect of any extension to the Guarantee. BBB currently envisages any extension (beyond the current six-year tenure for CBILS facilities) would relate to the provision of forbearance only.

Supporting documents

You will need to provide certain documents when you apply for a CBILS-backed facility. These requirements vary from lender to lender, but are likely to include:

  • management accounts
  • a business plan
  • historic accounts
  • details of assets

If you do not have everything listed here, a CBILS loan could still be an option to provide finance to support your business.

Note: For many customers approaching their existing lenders for a smaller facility, the process may be automated and therefore may not require the same level of documentation.

Other business finance support options

You can find details of other government measures to support public services, people and businesses through this disruption on the Government’s Business Support website.

Guidance and support for your business during this period of uncertainty

To read regularly updated guidance for businesses that are facing financial and operational challenges as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, visit the Business Finance Guide website.