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Business customers: Applications for financial support

25 March 2020

We are ready to support you to help manage your cash flow with a range of options available.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is a new scheme that can provide facilities of up to £5m for smaller businesses across the UK who are experiencing lost or deferred revenues, leading to disruptions to their cash flow.

Whilst we are not currently part of the panel of accredited banks able to offer lending via this scheme, we are working hard to become a CBILS accredited provider. The British Business Bank have confirmed that they are accelerating the accreditation process and we hope to have an update soon.

However, we are still here to help through a range of lending options (loans, overdrafts and charge cards) to support you and your business through these challenging times and to provide additional help. We have also committed to:

  • Providing overdraft and loan facilities (with capital repayment holidays where appropriate) in order to support working capital and cash flow requirements (subject to status and eligibility). T&Cs apply.
  • Waiving overdraft and loan arrangement fees until further notice specifically for those key business sectors that are directly impacted by the coronavirus.

If you require additional lending support please send an email to: Lsunder@co-operativebank.co.uk including the following information;

  • Business name and post code
  • Account number
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Facility required (overdraft, loan, charge card)
  • Amount you want to borrow
  • Purpose of borrowing
  • How long you want the facility for.

Please do not include any other personal information.

You must be an account signatory with authority to borrow on behalf of the business to submit this request.

Your application is subject to status and eligibility. T&Cs apply.

We will aim to respond as soon as possible by email or phone. We’re currently experiencing a high volume of applications so please bear with us.

If you have a Relationship Manager then please contact them direct to discuss your lending requirements.

View our range of lending.

What is The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)?

CBILS supports a wide range of business finance products, including term loans and overdrafts. The scheme provides the lender with a government-backed guarantee potentially enabling a ‘no’ credit decision from a lender to become a ‘yes’. The borrower always remains 100% liable for the debt.

Continue to visit this page for the latest updates on the (CBILS) scheme. You can find out more directly on the British Business Bank website.

Key features of the (CBILS) scheme that we hope to receive accreditation for soon;

  • Up to £5m facility: The maximum value of a facility provided under the scheme will be £5m, available on repayment terms of up to six years.
  • 80% guarantee: The scheme provides the lender with a government-backed, partial guarantee (80%) against the outstanding facility balance, subject to an overall cap per lender.
  • 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[1], so smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.[2]
  • Finance terms: Finance terms are up to six years for term loans. For overdrafts , terms will be up to three years.
  • Security: At the discretion of the lender, the scheme may be used for unsecured lending for facilities of £250,000 and under. For facilities above £250,000, the lender must establish a lack or absence of security prior to businesses using CBILS. If the lender can offer finance on normal commercial terms without the need to make use of the scheme, they will do so.
  • The borrower always remains 100% liable for the debt.

Am I going to be eligible for The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)?

Smaller businesses from all sectors [3] can apply for the full amount of the facility. To be eligible for a facility under CBILS, an SME must;

  • Be UK-based in its business activity, with annual turnover of no more than £45m.
  • Have a borrowing proposal which, were it not for the current pandemic, would be considered viable by the lender, and for which the lender believes the provision of finance will enable the business to trade out of any short-to-medium term difficulty.

If The Co-operative Bank can offer finance on normal commercial terms without the need to make use of the scheme, we will do so.

Other Government support and advice for businesses

This scheme is just one of a number of measures announced by the Government. You can find further details of the temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

Please do not contact our call centres about the CIBLS scheme directly as we are currently experiencing a high demand of calls to customers who have the most immediate financial needs. Thank you in advance for your support.

If you have a dedicated Relationship Manager please contact them direct, as they will be able to talk you through the scheme and check if you might be eligible once we receive accreditation, and to answer any specific lending questions you may have. 

[1] Following earlier discussions with the banking industry, some lenders indicated that they would not charge arrangement fees or early repayment charges to SMEs borrowing under the scheme. HM Government greatly appreciates this approach by lenders.

[2] Fishery, aquaculture and agriculture businesses may not qualify for the full interest and fee payment.

[3] The following trades and organisations are not eligible to apply: Banks, Building Societies, Insurers and Reinsurers (but not insurance brokers); The public sector including state funded primary and secondary schools; Employer, professional, religious or political membership organisation or trade unions.

Standards of Lending Practice

The Co-operative Bank is one of the registered firms to subscribe to the Standards of Lending Practice which set the benchmark for good lending practices in the UK. The Standards outline the way registered firms are expected to deal with their customers throughout the entire product life cycle.

For more information on The Standards of Lending Practice please visit the Lending Standards Board website.

You can also view further information on our commitments to our business customers and what we ask of you.

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