A tribunal hearing took place at the end of November 2022 following requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for disclosure of information regarding borrowers under various Covid loan schemes.
What information has been requested?
British Business Bank has received requests for the disclosure of the names of borrowers who have received loans under any of the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme and/or the Future Fund.
The requestors are not seeking any information other than business names.
The British Business Bank has resisted disclosure of borrowers’ names under the FOIA.
Will my information be made public?
If the Tribunal agrees with the Bank’s position, then the borrower names will not need to be disclosed. Some borrower names are, however, in the public domain already (for example those required to be disclosed under the EU transparency framework).
If the Tribunal decides that the borrower names are to be disclosed then the Bank must disclose the names (subject to very limited circumstances in which the Tribunal decision may be appealed). We will have to provide the names of the borrowers to the requestors. A disclosure under FOIA is treated as a disclosure to the world at large, however, and so the requestors may choose to publish the information more widely.
Alternatively, the Tribunal may decide that the names of some, but not all, borrowers need to be disclosed.
Will I be notified before my name is published?
If the British Business Bank is ordered to publish some, or all, of the borrower names, we will contact your lender (for BBLS, CBILS and CLBILS borrowers) to inform them of the information to be published.
For Future Fund borrowers the British Business Bank will contact you directly to inform you if your name is to be published.