CEO & Founder Soaring Falcon
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Bounce Back Loans: The fastest path to SME cash

Yesterday the Bounce Back Loan Scheme went live after being first announced a week ago. Alex Falcon Huerta recounts her clients’ experience in claiming the loan, with the first funds being paid in under seven hours of application.

5th May 2020
CEO & Founder Soaring Falcon
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10 Downing Street. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak holds up the red box outside Number 11 on his first Budget.
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After the government announced the release of the Bounce Bank Loans Scheme (BBLS), I thought it would be another application I could support my clients with and that I would be able to process their application. This wasn't the case. Each BBL needs to be processed by the client themselves through their online banking account. 

BBLS v CBILS

Clients who initially applied for the CBILS have now moved their application to BBLS if applying for under £50,000. Being 100% by the government rather than CBILS 80% makes the move a decided positive. 100% of my clients who have applied for the CBILS still haven’t had information from the bank for approval. It is now week six later. 

Not all of the clients initially wanted to go for a loan because they were concerned about the interest rates on offer. With the capped 2.5% by the government and a 12 months repayments and interest holiday, the loan is much more manageable and gives them some breathing space to get their businesses back up and running.

Where we helped clients with cashflow, we saw a clear indication that financial pressures will peak between 9 and 12 months. Deferred payments will be due by then. Our stance with clients is to put tax money aside to pay when it falls due. 

Application of BBLS funding

The funds from the BBLS is to ensure business continuity. These are extreme emergency measures provided by the government. Where there is an alternative agenda for the use of funds, HMRC may raise an inspection at a later stage.

There are no real guidelines on how the funds are to be used. Clearly needs to be used smartly and spread over several months to make sure businesses are able to continue trade.

Being completely backed by the government makes BBLS the most logical option. After speaking with clients, they feel more comfortable with BBLS than opting for a direct bank loan at a later stage. A loan later on may prove difficult with credit ratings, should their business have reduced profits.

BBLS should have definitely been on the cards from the start. Clients have done their own applications with most lenders, and have found it straightforward.

Lenders application of BBLS

Santander application took around twenty minutes to complete. Where applications processes had started at 6.30 am, Santander already had sent the paperwork over to them 4 hours later, and had approved 2.5 hours after this. The funds were in the account by 2 pm. This is an incredible speed to turn around a loan application, and there were clear, simple instructions from Santander on how to complete.

With Starling Bank, you have to register online to show interest and they will get back to you. 

Lloyds applications also seemed to be quite straightforward and easy. But finding the application page on their website was not so easy.

I have access to a Barclays account for a few clients and was authorised to apply on their behalf. I checked at 6 am to see if I could apply, but there was nothing available. I had to call the bank who advised me that Barclays were slowly releasing the online application to customers. When I finally did get access, it crashed. As of this morning (Tuesday 05 May), Barclays BBLS have still been unsuccessful.

BBLS: 24 hours later

Monday was an intense period because we know that clients need to have funds in their accounts. With the uncertainty of CBILS coming in, knowing that BBLS has launched and the cash can be received in 24 hours makes a huge difference. This is only the case for customers who require under £50,000. We still need to apply pressure to the banks for the clients who have requested a higher amount as they will need this to come in quite fast.

When it was announced that BBLS funds would be released within days, I honestly did not believe this could happen. It was a pleasant surprise when Santander sent the funds in under seven hours. I would like to think that banks can adopt this new process going forward.

Replies (30)

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
05th May 2020 13:34

They seem to have gone for "splash the cash, and worry about fraud later"

£50k? No problem sir, just self certify here. Remember to pay it back wont you now sir....sir? [Sir already run off with the cash]

£575 furlough claim? Be-gone, rules is rules evil company director on annual scheme!

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By Justin Bryant
05th May 2020 11:47

Yes; it's a bit like that Carlsberg advert isn't it, but for real!

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By danielgricks
05th May 2020 14:41

Probably will not be reported by the BBC

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By footballman
05th May 2020 18:23

We applied for BBLS with Lloyds bank Monday morning around 9 AM and got automated email reply "Bounce Back Loan Scheme Facility Letter". The email starts with saying (We are pleased to offer you a loan, subject to checks we are required to perform, on the date and on the terms and conditions set out below and in the application form).

I have spoken to the business banking today at Lloyds bank more than once and each time I am given a different answer. One told me it will take few business days up to 5 working days to hear from the bank and another said 5-7 working days. They said to wait for email to confirm the loan agreement which has to be sent back by secure email and again have to wait for 2-3 days for their digital banking team to deposit the money into the bank.

I am really confused as the another is saying customers with Santander bank are getting paid same day with seven hours and the Evening Standard mentioning about giving out loans already to their clients.

"Lloyds Banking Group on Tuesday said 32,000 business customers had received 'Bounce Back' loans since the scheme started this week, totalling £1 billion"

https://www.standard.co.uk/business/lloyds-bank-lends-1-billion-of-bounc...

Have I been given wrong information or has something gone wrong with our application? The customer services at Lloyds are totally useless.

Anyone here has any experience with Lloyds bank or can give me any insight of what to do next or who to contact to deal with our BBLS application for our limited company.

Many thanks

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Replying to footballman:
Alex Falcon Huerta FCCA , Soaring Falcon
By Alex Falcon Huerta FCCA
05th May 2020 19:04

Hi, I have sent a DM.

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Replying to Alex Falcon Huerta FCCA:
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By Keithcharlton
06th May 2020 02:14

Hi Alex, thank you for the article!
I’m in the exact same boat with Lloyd’s as the person above.

Would you be able to drop me a message what any relevant information/advice also.

Many thanks
Keith

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Replying to Keithcharlton:
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By leggo007
07th Jun 2020 13:01

did you recieve the money at the end?

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Replying to Alex Falcon Huerta FCCA:
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By leggo007
07th Jun 2020 12:41

can you dm me as well pls got the same problem with Royal bank of scotland got an email saying

We are pleased to offer you a loan, subject to checks we are required to perform, on the date and on the terms and conditions set out below and in the application form.

what happens next ?

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Replying to leggo007:
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By BBLS2020
28th Jun 2020 12:11

What happened then ?

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Replying to Alex Falcon Huerta FCCA:
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By BBLS2020
28th Jun 2020 13:21

I have the same letter from bos ?

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Replying to footballman:
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By Jfg
07th May 2020 10:04

Unusually for Lloyds, they have got their finger out, I applied Tuesday and when I checked the bank this morning, it was there. Quelle surprise...….

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Replying to footballman:
Hancox and Co
By Hancox and Co
11th May 2020 11:30

Yep, I applied with Lloyds (existing business customer) on the 4th May, and the money was in the account by close of play same day. Fingers crossed its sorted for your shortly.

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Replying to footballman:
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By leggo007
07th Jun 2020 12:43

hello how are you? I got the same email wanted to know how long did it eventually take you to get the money ?

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Replying to footballman:
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By BBLS2020
28th Jun 2020 12:09

I’m the same with BOS ,what does this letter mean ?

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By Shea Thomas
06th May 2020 10:51

I applied for a loan with santander first thing monday morning, as yet I have heard nothing back. I was wondering what I should do. Reading everyone saying how quick and efficient santander this has left myself feeling quite concerned about my own application

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Replying to Shea Thomas:
Alex Falcon Huerta FCCA , Soaring Falcon
By Alex Falcon Huerta FCCA
07th May 2020 12:59

Talking to some other banks it looks like they have released loans in batches. Potentially first come , first served. Im still seeing a lot of people waiting for loans to appear even if they have been approved. Or they have sent their paperwork in and not heard back. Calling banks now, the delay on the phone can be hours. Very frustrating. Perhaps we will hear more about this on Sunday - the next announcement. Staring are suggesting if you open an account with them, you can then register your interest with the BBL's. This may be the quickest way to get funds.

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By meadowsaw227
07th May 2020 09:49

No luck with my claim ! .
Have CURRENTLY been on hold for 58 minutes with Barclays, getting nowhere fast !

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By pauljohnston
07th May 2020 09:53

Those who have been paid are lucky. I got a message when applying to Barclays saying that our money laundering documents are not up to date .... Well I have no idea what this is about our business accounts have been with them in excess of 15 years and it has the mortgage on our home.

Not suprised Barclays are on catch up it seems to be unable to deal with any personal contact ie phone, email or chat.

About the same as normal

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Replying to pauljohnston:
By Wellmeadow
07th May 2020 11:56

I have had the same problem with Barclays Paul. Their records of my business didn't match the Companies House records (their error) and therefore the loan application screen diverted to a 'call your bank manager' message. They fixed the error locally very quickly, but it takes several days to 'work through the system' apparently (they must have a slower breed of electrons than everyone else!).

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By johnjenkins
07th May 2020 09:57

Got client who is an IFA. Now cash no problem but next three months could well be testing. We decided to apply for the loan. Got it straight away. This was with Nat West. Perhaps some banks operate differently.
Our thinking behind claiming was that in the first 12 months there is no cost and if it's not needed there is no penalty on repaying early. For companies that are sound then go for it. Really it's not for companies that were struggling anyway (maybe that's why banks are taking a bit more time over some cases) because it will lead to even more problems.

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By [email protected]
07th May 2020 09:58

I have had applications that were lodged with Lloyds on Monday morning paid by Tuesday lunchtime , for another client we lodged Monday morning with Yorkshire bank and have had 2 generic texts since to say they are inundated.
Can anyone advise on who to approach if the Business doesnt bank with one of these providers? Im aware that the challengers/fintechs are waiting in the wings but there are companies that need ti apply today

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By rememberscarborough
07th May 2020 10:33

Filed claims with HSBC on Monday but nothing received. Tried to file another one for another company with Natwest yesterday and received their initial email acknowledging our request but only received the second email allowing us to apply overnight. Not expecting anything for a bit but have been deeply unimpressed by HSBC during this whole disaster and once this is over we'll be looking elsewhere.

Wonder if the benefit of Santander is that they're a Spanish bank so not beholden to our HMRC....

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Replying to rememberscarborough:
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By johnjenkins
07th May 2020 11:10

Although Santander is a Spanish bank. The UK Santander is a UK based bank and is beholden to our HMRC.

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By Rgab1947
07th May 2020 10:39

Well HSBC is another story.

Applied Monday p.m. (they were late making the online application available). Completed the form which insisted you put a signature in using your mouse (really!?) and submitted.

As of now not even an acknowledgement.

Phoned the Covid support helpline and all they could tell me is that their team is working hard in the background. Really helpful - not!

Not holding my breath. Will wait till Monday then another bank.

A client of mine applied Tuesday at Lloyds and they have the funds. Horses for courses. Note from other OP's that not the only one with HSBC issues.

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Replying to Rgab1947:
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By stephenleonard
07th May 2020 12:16

Exactly the same story for the clients I have had who have applied to HSBC- applications filed Monday but nothing heard since.

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Replying to Rgab1947:
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By bendybod
07th May 2020 13:36

Yep, HSBC were only just getting around to responding to CBILS loan applications from beginning of April last week. On Monday they phoned some to say 'change your loan to a BBL as it will be quicker and easier to get the funds'. Since then, radio silence.....

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By jon dickinson
07th May 2020 10:50

Thanks Alex-Excellent Article. Barclays still shambolic I'm afraid-6 goes twice a day so far -error message comes up every time!

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Replying to jon dickinson:
Alex Falcon Huerta FCCA , Soaring Falcon
By Alex Falcon Huerta FCCA
07th May 2020 13:05

You're welcome. Im afraid its still the same for me on the Barclays front.I've decided to open up a Starling Account and see if they will be quicker. I have twitter conversation and they have been super keen to help and support.

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By norstar
07th May 2020 10:55

What in the world does this mean:

"The funds from the BBLS is to ensure business continuity. These are extreme emergency measures provided by the government. Where there is an alternative agenda for the use of funds, HMRC may raise an inspection at a later stage".

Where is this documented and more to the point, how is that enforced when:

"There are no real guidelines on how the funds are to be used".

I'd be interested to be pointed to the part where HMRC has any jurisdiction over the application of the loans at all?

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By rocket_queen
07th May 2020 12:52

Thank you for this article, it's very helpful to hear the way the different banks are performing. I have read as much information on the loans as I can find and I can see it is for SME's, however I cannot find any reference to groups. If several small companies are part of a medium sized group, can each company (assuming that they qualify under other criteria) apply for this loan, so within the group there may be several bounce back loans of £50,000, but only one per company? I cannot see any reference to groups at all, which makes me think that each company in its' own right can apply. In this particular case, the companies within the group have all been severely affected by the current situation as they have lost all source of income and still have reasonably high levels of cost, therefore these loans would make a significant difference.

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