Business Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS)

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Bounce Back Loan Top-Up update: The government has announced changes to the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, including allowing borrowers to Top-Up loans. Find out more about Bounce Back Loan Top-Ups, including how to apply.

We’re here to support your business through the coronavirus by participating in the government’s Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS).

Bounce Back Loans are designed to help small businesses affected by coronavirus stay on track and get back on their feet as quickly as possible. The scheme provides access to government-backed loans from £2,000 to £50,000 and is open until 31 January 2021. 

Demand for Bounce Back Loans remains high. To register your interest please join our interest list. You will be sent a confirmation email to let you know that you have registered successfully.

You will receive an email when we are able to invite you to apply for a Bounce Back Loan. This will contain instructions on how to apply. Our customer services team will be unable to prioritise your invitation or confirm your place on the interest list. We are prioritising established businesses with regular activity on their Starling business account. We will contact all customers who join our interest list before the end of the scheme. Please note that by successfully joining our interest list you are not prevented from applying for a Bounce Back Loan with another accredited lender. 

You can still open a new Starling business account, but opening a business or sole trader account at Starling does not guarantee that you will be approved for a loan under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme or any other lending scheme. To apply for a sole trader account you’ll first need to open a personal account. You will also need to meet our credit risk criteria for a sole trader account.

Office with rainbow picture frame

Eligibility

Your business will only be eligible for a Starling Bounce Back Loan where all of the following criteria are met:

  • Your business has a Starling business account that is being used or is intended to be used as your business’ primary account.
  • Your UK based business has been negatively impacted by coronavirus.
  • Your business was established and trading by 1 March 2020 (inclusive). We cannot give BBLS loans to companies formed after this date. This includes if you recently changed your sole trading business into a Limited Company.
  • Your business is not using the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) or the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility Scheme (CCFF), unless the Bounce Back Loan will refinance the whole of the CBILS, CLBILS or CCFF facility.
  • Your business generates more than 50% of its income from trading (unless your business is a charity or a further education college).
  • You are not bankrupt, subject to a debt relief order, going through debt restructuring or in any similar restructuring or insolvency procedure. 
  • You were not a business in difficulty on 31st December 2019.
  • Your business is not a bank, building society, insurance company, public sector organisation, or state funded primary or secondary school.

All sole traders applying for a Bounce Back Loan with Starling will need to provide their tax returns as part of their application. This is to confirm that your business was trading on 1st March 2020. We will require a copy of these documents, even if your latest tax return is not yet due. You can find out more about these documents in our FAQs. We cannot process sole trader applications without these documents.

It is important to note that you can only have one Bounce Back Loan provider. You cannot apply for a Bounce Back Loan with Starling if you are in the process of applying for one with another lender or have received one from another lender. You could be subject to legal proceedings if found to have more than one Bounce Back Loan for your business. 

Starling’s systems are only set up to offer one Bounce Back Loan per person or group, even if you are a director for multiple businesses (sole trader or limited companies). Unfortunately, this means that we cannot offer you a Bounce Back Loan on multiple businesses that you are a director of or if you have been declined for a Bounce Back Loan on one of your other businesses. 

If you need to borrow more than £50,000 to support your business, a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) loan or overdraft may be more suited to your needs.

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Key features of the Bounce Back Loan Scheme

  • Loans of between £2,000 to £50,000, up to a maximum of 25% of your business’ annual (calendar year) turnover, to be used as working capital or as an investment in your business, or to refinance loans used for such purposes
  • The rate of interest is fixed at 2.5%
  • The loan will be interest free for the first 12 months, as the interest will be claimed by Starling, on your behalf, from the government
  • The loan will also be free of capital repayments for the first 12 months, meaning you won’t need to make a repayment during this time
  • The loan term is six years, but you have the right to pay back the loan sooner with no early repayment charge.

If you struggle to make repayments after the first 12 months, you may have the following options in line with proposals announced by the Government and the British Business Bank:

  • You will be able to extend the term of your loan to 10 years
  • You will be able to take one capital and interest repayment holiday of up to 6 months after you have made a repayment on your loan
  • You will be able to take up to three interest repayment holidays of up to 6 months

These options are not yet available to customers. Please do not contact us at this time to request these options.

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What you’ll need if you’re invited to apply for a Starling Bounce Back Loan

All applicants will need:

  • An activated Starling business bank card
  • A verified email address

Our Privacy Notice sets out how the personal data collected from you will be processed by us.

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Your rights

All lending is subject to status, availability, our lending criteria and the BBLS eligibility criteria.

The right to decline any application is reserved. BBLS Loans are not subject to the usual consumer protections that apply to business lending and as such you will not have the benefit of the protection and remedies that would otherwise be available to you under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 or the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

Should you wish to make a complaint, please visit our How to complain page which includes details of our complaints handling procedure and your right to complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.


The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) is managed by the British Business Bank on behalf of, and with the financial backing of, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. British Business Bank plc is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government. It is not authorised or regulated by the PRA or the FCA. Visit british-business-bank.co.uk..

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Important information

Here’s what we’ll do when you take out a Bounce Back Loan:

  • We’ll monitor all the repayments you make and offer help and advice if you’re having trouble repaying.
  • If we identify you as a vulnerable person, we’ll make adjustments to reflect your personal circumstances.
  • If you default, we’ll give you a fair period of time to fix the problem. As long as the repayment is made during that time, we won’t mark it as a default on your record.
  • We won’t ask you to pay lender fees or interest (even if you default), but if the Bounce Back Loan isn’t repaid when it’s due, we will charge interest at 2.5% a year, and stop charging it as soon as you’ve repaid.
  • We’ll provide information in a way that’s clear, fair and not misleading.

Here’s the information we’ll give you about your Bounce Back Loan:

  • Clear guidance if you miss a repayment on your loan. This includes information about the amount that’s been missed, what you can do if you’re having trouble with repayments (and in what timescales) and any impact on future repayments.
  • If you default, we’ll give you details about any action we’re taking, before we take it.
  • Regular information about your Bounce Back Loan (on at least an annual basis). This will take the form of a statement setting out details of the payment transactions during the period since such information was provided (or the date the Loan was advanced to you, if no such information has been provided previously) and amounts outstanding under your Bounce Back Loan.
  • The help and assistance options available to you, including sources of free independent advice.

The details above are for information purposes only.

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Bounce Back Loan Scheme FAQs

Calculating my business turnover

  • My business was established after 1 January 2019. Can I use an estimate of my projected future turnover in the application?

    Yes, but we will use your latest tax return to validate the turnover you state in your application. The projected turnover must be realistic and based on past business performance. Your business must have been trading on 1 March 2020 to be eligible for a Bounce Back Loan.

  • My business has been trading since before 1 January 2019, but I’m expecting it to grow significantly in the next 12 months. Can I use an estimate of my projected future turnover in the application?

    No. You can only provide an estimated turnover figure if your business was established after 1 January 2019. In all cases we will look at your past business performance to understand whether the turnover you have declared in your application is in line with the proven business trading performance.

I’m a sole trader and have been asked to supply documentation

  •  Why do you ask for additional documentation for Sole Trader Bounce Back Loan applications?

    This allows us to verify that your business was trading on 1 March 2020, in line with the Bounce Back Loan Scheme guidelines. 

    If you were trading on or before 5th of April 2019 you will need to provide:

    • Your 2018/2019 Tax return (SA100)
    • Your 2018/2019 Tax calculation (SA302)

    If you started trading between 6th of April 2019 and 1st of March 2020 will need the 2019/20 SA100 and SA302. We know this is earlier than you would normally do your tax return, but it will help us verify your business.

    Relevant additional information:

  • As a sole trader, if I traded in 2018/19 and 2019/20 do I need to submit both tax returns?

    No, if you were established on or before 5th April 2019, you only need to submit your 2018/2019 tax return and tax calculation documents.

  • I’m a sole trader who has only just started trading. I don’t have my tax return, what documentation can I submit?

    For sole traders that started trading after April 2019, we are asking for you to file your 19/20 tax return so that we can verify your business. 

    Relevant additional information:

    We cannot process your loan application without this information. Even if you have not yet submitted your 2019/20 return, you will need to do so to complete your Starling Bounce Back Loan application.

  • Why do sole traders need to provide more documentation than limited companies?

    Limited companies are registered on Companies House and so we are able to assess when they were established. For sole traders, we require additional documentation to verify that the business was established.

  • What can I do if I don’t have a Unique Tax Reference (UTR)?

    If you can’t find your UTR on your documentation, please get in touch with HMRC.

  • My evidence is too large to upload to the application form and so my application still says “awaiting evidence” in the online bank. What can I do?

    Reduce the size of the file provided and re-upload or upload a portion of the document and send the remainder to bbls@starlingbank.com.

My business is a limited company

  • My business was trading before 1st March 2020 but was incorporated after 1st March 2020. Can I apply for a Bounce Back Loan?

    If your limited company was incorporated after the 1st March 2020, then you are not eligible to apply for a Bounce Back Loan on behalf of this company. If you were trading before 1st March 2020, but were not incorporated, unfortunately you are still not eligible to apply for a Bounce Back Loan, as to be eligible, it must have been incorporated by 1st March 2020.

My business has been declined for a BBL

  • My latest accounts at Companies House were for a dormant company - why have you declined my business for a Bounce Back Loan?

    If your latest company accounts filed at Companies House were for a dormant business, your application will be declined because it would be difficult for a dormant company to prove that they comply with the eligibility requirements of the scheme. You cannot appeal this decision and we will not review any further documents supplied. We will only consider accounts filed at Companies House prior to your application.

  • I’ve been declined for a Starling Bounce Back Loan due to a duplicate loan with another lender - can I appeal this decision?

    Under the terms of the Bounce Back Loan Scheme Starling are obliged to consult a central record of all Bounce Back Loans to confirm that only one loan has been provided per business. Where this central record states that you have a loan with another provider we will not be able to accept your application, even if you appeal our decision. If another lender has incorrectly recorded that you have a Bounce Back Loan with them, you must contact the lender and request that they update their Bounce Back Loan records.

  • I’ve been declined a Bounce Back Loan. What do I do?

    If you’ve been declined with us, you’re unable to reapply for a Bounce Back Loan with Starling. Our decision does not prevent you from applying to another accredited BBLS lender.

I have multiple businesses

  • If I have more than one business can I get more than one BBLS loan?

    The British Business Bank recently announced that non-group businesses may be able to apply for additional loans. However, our systems are only set up to offer one Bounce Back Loan per person or group. This includes if you’re a sole trader or are a person of significant control (PSC) in several companies. Our position, unfortunately, means that we cannot offer you an additional loan if you already have an existing loan with us for one of your other businesses. This also means that if one of the directors or PSC in your business is also a director or PSC a separate business with a Bounce Back Loan with us, your business is not eligible for a Bounce Back Loan with us.

  • One of my businesses was declined for a Starling Bounce Back Loan. Can I apply for a different business that I’m a director of?

    Our systems are only set up to offer one Bounce Back Loan per person or group. This includes if you’re a sole trader or are a person of significant control (PSC) in several companies. Our position, unfortunately, means that we cannot offer you a loan if you already have an existing loan with us for one of your other businesses or you have applied for a Bounce Back Loan for one of your businesses and been declined.

Product information

  • Are you taking Personal Guarantees or any other security?

    No, we are not taking any Personal Guarantees or any other security under this scheme.

  • Can I apply for an overdraft under BBLS?

    No - the scheme is for loans only.

  • Is the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) different to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)?

    Yes - both schemes are run by the British Business Bank, but BBLS is designed to support smaller businesses. Through BBLS you can apply for a loan of £2,000 to £50,000. You can get a loan or overdraft over £50,001 via CBILS.

  • My business has received a Bounce Back Loan. Can I apply for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) Loan or Overdraft for my business?

    According to the rules set up by the British Business Bank, you are only permitted to have either a Bounce Back Loan or a CBILS lending facility. It is not possible to have both. You can refinance a Bounce Back Loan onto a CBILS lending facility, but your Bounce Back Loan must be repaid in full.

  • I have a poor credit history. Am I eligible for a loan under this scheme?

    Yes, we will be able to support businesses that have a poor credit history under this scheme.

Starling interest list

  • I’ve joined the Starling Bounce Back Loan interest list. How long should I expect to wait before being invited to apply?

    We’re experiencing very high demand for Bounce Back Loans and are processing requests as quickly as possible. We are prioritising established Starling business customers in the first instance, but are unfortunately unable to give an indication of wait times at the moment. You are free to apply with other accredited lenders whilst remaining on our interest list.

  • Please can I cancel my registration of interest?

    The registration of interest isn’t a binding agreement so there is no action you need to take. You may subsequently receive an invitation from us to apply, but you can ignore the invitation if you receive it.

Application process

  • I’ve been invited to apply, and have submitted an application. How long does the application process take?

    If you have been invited to apply, and have submitted a loan application, there are a number of checks we are required to do as part of the BBLS rules. We process applications as quickly as possible and some cases take longer than others. You do not need to take any action (such as rejoining the interest list) to speed up the process. Once approved you will receive an email from us and our aim is to get the funds to you as soon as possible after you have digitally signed the contract.

  • I have signed the documentation. How long will it be until the loan is paid into my account?

    We aim to pay out funds within one full working day after receiving your signed loan documents.

  • I have received an email saying my application has been accepted. How do I proceed and accept the loan?

    In order to sign your loan agreement. Please follow the steps below:

    • Please sign in to the online bank
    • Go to the loan tab
    • Review the loan documents
    • If you are happy with the contents of these documents, fill out all relevant sections at the bottom of the page and confirm your digital signature.
  • Is my business guaranteed to be accepted for a Bounce Back Loan?

    No, there is no guarantee your application will be accepted. There are a few conditions that the British Business Bank have set out, such as that your business operates in an eligible sector and that it’s not insolvent. We also need to complete a few checks to make sure applications aren’t fraudulent. So we have to take steps to make sure the borrower intends to repay the loan and that they have an operational business.

  • What checks will you carry out as part of the BBL application process?

    We will carry out our standard account opening checks on the borrower and key individuals as part of the application process (this will include credit checks on all Persons of Significant Control).

Loan repayments

  • Why do I see a scheduled payment for a Bounce Back Loan on my business account?

    These payments are the interest charges for the Bounce Back Loan. For the first 12 months of the loan, every month you will see interest debited, but Starling will credit your account with the same amount on the same day, so there is no change to the account balance. This will happen every month for 12 months starting exactly one month after you receive the Bounce Bank Loan. This is because the Government will cover any interest payable in the first 12 months through a Business Interruption Payment to Starling Bank. From month 13 your loan payments will commence, which will include the principal repayment amount plus the interest. This is payable by you and will not be covered by the government or paid by Starling.

  • What happens if I miss a repayment?

    If you miss or expect to miss a repayment under your Bounce Back Loan Agreement, please get in touch with us straightaway to discuss it with our lending team. The risks of missing a repayment under your Bounce Back Loan Agreement are that we may:

    • Cancel our agreement with you and require you to repay the full amount of the Bounce Back Loan immediately;
    • Set off any amounts you owe us under the agreement against any funds you hold with us in other accounts;
    • Take enforcement action against you to recover any amounts you still owe if necessary;
    • Restrict your access to any other credit facilities you have with us and require you to immediately repay those facilities; and
    • Disclose information about your Bounce Back Loan to the credit reference agencies.

How much will a Bounce Back Loan cost me?

  • You will not need to make any (principal or interest) repayments in the first 12 months. During this time the loan will accrue interest but Starling will reclaim the interest from the British Business Bank on your behalf.
  • You will start paying your loan in month 13. For this loan, the cost of your monthly repayment is made up of two parts:

    • a principal repayment: you pay an equal amount each month until you have repaid all the capital over 60 months. We ‘round down’ costs, so if you can’t divide the total loan cost equally over 60 months, we’ll round the cost down to the nearest penny and then at the end of the 60 months we’ll adjust your final payment to cover the total cost of the loan.
    • an interest repayment: this is calculated at 2.5% fixed on the balance of your loan. At Starling we calculate interest daily based on your loan balance.
  • Your repayments will be made monthly and the monthly repayment amount will change each month as the loan is repaid over time.
  • When you apply for your loan you will receive a specific loan illustration for your application.
  • Below are some examples, to help you estimate the cost of your loan:

Monthly Capital Repayment

£5,000

£83.33

£10,000

£166.66

£25,000

£416.66

£30,000

£500.00

£40,000

£666.66

£50,000

£833.33

First interest payment

£5,000

£10.49

£10,000

£20.99

£25,000

£52.48

£30,000

£62.98

£40,000

£83.97

£50,000

£104.96

Total first monthly repayment

£5,000

£93.82

£10,000

£187.65

£25,000

£469.14

£30,000

£562.98

£40,000

£750.63

£50,000

£938.29

Total cost of loan to you

£5,000

£5,314.45

£10,000

£10,628.91

£25,000

£26,572.25

£30,000

£31,886.67

£40,000

£42,515.58

£50,000

£53,144.46

£5,000

£10,000

£25,000

£30,000

£40,000

£50,000

Monthly Capital Repayment

£83.33

£166.66

£416.66

£500.00

£666.66

£833.33

First interest payment

£10.49

£20.99

£52.48

£62.98

£83.97

£104.96

Total first monthly repayment

£93.82

£187.65

£469.14

£562.98

£750.63

£938.29

Total cost of loan to you

£5,314.45

£10,628.91

£26,572.25

£31,886.67

£42,515.58

£53,144.46

Please note, figures correct assuming drawdown on the 10th May 2020.

For this loan we will claim the first 12 months interest from the British Business Bank, this means the total cost of the loan is higher than the total cost to you. Here you can see what we will claim on your behalf.

Business Interruption Payment (claimed from BBB)

£5,000

£125

£10,000

£250

£25,000

£500

£30,000

£750

£40,000

£1000

£50,000

£1,250

Total cost of loan to you

£5,000

£5,314.45

£10,000

£10,628.91

£25,000

£26,572.25

£30,000

£31,886.67

£40,000

£42,515.58

£50,000

£53,144.46

Total cost of the loan

£5,000

£5,439.45

£10,000

£10,878.91

£25,000

£27,072.25

£30,000

£32,636.67

£40,000

£43,515.58

£50,000

£54,394.46

£5,000

£10,000

£25,000

£30,000

£40,000

£50,000

Business Interruption Payment (claimed from BBB)

£125

£250

£500

£750

£1000

£1,250

Total cost of loan to you

£5,314.45

£10,628.91

£26,572.25

£31,886.67

£42,515.58

£53,144.46

Total cost of the loan

£5,439.45

£10,878.91

£27,072.25

£32,636.67

£43,515.58

£54,394.46

Please note, figures correct assuming drawdown on the 10 May 2020.

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