New lenders added to coronavirus business loan scheme

New lenders added to coronavirus business loan scheme
Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events

Posted: Fri 10th Apr 2020

Several new lenders have been accredited under the government's Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) in the latest attempt to deal with the huge demand for loans from small businesses.

The Co-operative Bank, Cynergy Bank, OakNorth Bank and Starling Bank join more than 40 other approved lenders.

Coutts has also been accredited as part of RBS Group's existing accreditation and Arkle Finance, Close Brothers and Secure Trust Bank join CBILS after being accredited for the Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme earlier this year.

The inclusion of new lenders following continued criticism that entrepreneurs are struggling to access funding with long waits for a decision on applications.

Several business owners have also told Enterprise Nation that lenders are only accepting loans from existing customers and not providing funding below £25,000.

Of the new lenders, Starling Bank will be offering loans from £5,000 and overdrafts from £1,000, while The Co-operative Bank is providing loans and overdrafts from £1,000.

Enterprise Nation asked the British Business Bank, which administers the scheme, about banks providing loans to existing customers and a spokesperson said: "Lending decisions are made by the lenders themselves, and this includes whether or not facilities are made available to existing or new customers.

"Following the announcement today of new lenders being approved, the British Business Bank is working at pace to approve more lenders so that even more businesses will be able to get a CBILS-backed facility from their lender of choice. We expect to be able to announce the accreditation of further lenders soon."



Starling Bank has confirmed it will lend to new customers if they set up a business current account. It has also confirmed its criteria for loans:

  • limited company or limited liability partnership turning over less than £45m

  • trading for more than 18 months

  • have a good credit history with no arrears or defaults

Starling is also offering business overdrafts of £1,000 to £150,000, with sole trader businesses eligible to access a business overdraft up to £25,000.


CBILS was set up in March to help firms deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Businesses turning over less than £45m can access loans and overdrafts of up to £5m that are fee and interest-free for 12 months. The government supplies an 80% guarantee to encourage lenders to provide funding but borrowers remain 100% liable for the loans.

Last week it was announced that the requirement for banks to first assess whether firms are eligible for standard commercial loans had been removed in an attempt to speed up finance approvals. Lenders can also no longer ask for personal guarantees for loans under £250,000.

The latest figures show that 2,576 loans worth £453m have been approved, more than double what it was before the changes were made, but that's from a total of more than 300,000 enquiries.

The following lenders have been newly accredited under different variants of CBILS:

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
The following lenders were accredited under the Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme shortly before the launch of CBILS, and have been accredited under CBILS:

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

Read a guide on applying for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme here.

The latest coronavirus support information

We are keeping you updated on the latest information on how to access the government's coronavirus business support here. You can also find advice and ask a question on Enterprise Nation's coronavirus business advice hub. Follow Enterprise Nation on Twitter too for updates.

Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events
I'm a freelance content creator and event host who helps small businesses and the organisations that support them. I have 18 years of experience as a small business journalist having interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs from billionaires like Sir Richard Branson to the founders behind brand new start-ups. I've worked for a range of leading small business publications and support groups, most recently as head of content at Enterprise Nation where I was responsible for the prolific output of content on the company's blog and social media. I'm based in Bristol where I run and host regular events with the local small business community and have strong connections to major business organisations in the south west region. In total, I've hosted over 50 events; from intimate meet-ups to conferences with an audience of hundreds including events for international brands like Facebook and Xero. I'm also a big fan of podcasts having hosted Enterprise Nation's Small Business Sessions as well as lots of online events including Facebook Live interviews, webinars and three live web chats from inside 10 Downing Street. With my partner, I co-run Lifestyle District, a lifestyle blog focused on culture, art, theatre and photography. I'm here to help. I'm volunteering free advice calls of up to an hour as part of the Recovery Advice for Business scheme, over the next 6 months. Please get in touch to see how I can help your business. 

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