Business Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS)

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In response to coronavirus, the government has announced lending schemes to support businesses.

The business Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) is designed to help small businesses affected by coronavirus get back on their feet as quickly as possible. The scheme provides access to loans from £2,000 to £50,000. To be eligible, you must be a Starling business or sole trader account holder, using us as your primary account.

To manage high demand, we’re prioritising in the first instance established business and sole trader customers, using Starling as their primary account. If you’re interested, please join our list. If you are eligible, you’ll be sent an email inviting you to apply. We can’t guarantee that everyone that joins the list will be invited to apply.

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. Due to high demand, new account processing times are longer than usual. Please bear with us.

What you need to know

Key features of the Bounce Back Loan Scheme

  • Loans of between £2,000 to £50,000, up to a maximum of 25% 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.

Required criteria to be eligible for a Bounce Back Loan

  • Be an established Starling business account holder, using this as your primary account
  • Have been negatively impacted by coronavirus
  • Established and trading by 1 March 2020 (inclusive)
  • Not be in the process of applying for, or been accepted for, a Bounce Back Loan from another provider. You could be subject to legal proceedings if found to have more than one Bounce Back Loan for your business.
  • 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
  • Be a UK registered business or tax resident in the UK
  • Not be bankrupt, going through debt restructuring or in liquidation at time of application
  • If your business was in difficulty on 31st December 2019, you will need to self certify that you won't breach the state aid rules or restrictions on export-related activities by taking the loan
  • Have more than 50% of your income from trading (unless your business is a charity or further education college)
  • Your business should not be a bank, building society, insurance company, public sector organisation, or state funded primary or secondary school.

If you’re an existing customer, you can join the Starling Bounce Back Loan list.

What you’ll need if you’re invited to apply for a Starling BBLS

All applicants will need:

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

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. Due to high demand, new account processing times are longer than usual. Please bear with us.

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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.
  • There will be one monthly repayment, but this means your monthly repayment will change each month.

  • 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.


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 Loans 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 and industrial Strategy (BEIS). British Business Bank plc is wholly owned by HM Government and is not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Full details on BBLS and the list of participating lenders can be found on the British Business Bank website: www.british-business-bank.co.uk.

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.


Other lending options

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is the original scheme to support businesses. This scheme will now provide access to finance from £50,001 up to £250,000. Apply for a CBILS loan.

Bounce Back Loan Scheme FAQs

  • What is the Bounce Back Loan Scheme?

    The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) is a new scheme recently announced by The Treasury and the British Business Bank to support UK businesses during the coronavirus emergency with borrowing available between £2,000 and £50,000. Loans are available to limited companies, limited liability partnerships and sole traders.

  • Is 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 the BBLS scheme you can apply for a loan of £2,000 to £50,000. You can get a loan or overdraft over £50,001 via CBILS.

  • Are Starling offering Bounce Back Loans?

    Yes - we have been accredited and authorised by the British Business Bank.

  • How much can I borrow?

    You can borrow up to 25% of your turnover in 2019 (minimum £2,000, up to a maximum of £50,000). If your business was established in 2019 or 2020, you can use your estimated annual turnover from the date you started your business.

  • Can I apply for an overdraft under BBLS?

    No - the scheme is for loans only.

  • Am I eligible for a loan under this scheme?

    To be eligible for a loan under this scheme, you will need to
    - be an established Starling business account holder, using this as your primary account
    - have been negatively impacted by coronavirus
    - have been established and trading by 1 March 2020 (inclusive)
    - not have, or be in the process of applying for, another Bounce Back Loan
    - 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
    - be a UK registered business or tax resident in the UK
    - not be bankrupt, going through debt restructuring or in liquidation at time of application
    - if your business was in difficulty on 31st December 2019, you will need to self certify that you won’t breach the state aid rules or restrictions on export-related activities by taking the loan
    - have more than 50% of your income from trading (unless your business is a charity or further education college)
    - your business should not be a bank, building society, insurance company, public sector organisation, or state funded primary or secondary school.
    You will be asked to self-certify this as part of the application process.

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

    No, the rules of the scheme state that you’re only permitted one BBLS loan per person or group. This includes a sole trader or different companies you own or which are owned by a group.

  • My business has not been impacted by coronavirus, can I apply for a loan under this scheme?

    No, this scheme is only available to businesses that have been negatively impacted by coronavirus and need support.

  • What are the costs of the scheme?

    The loans have a fixed interest rate of 2.5% APR. There is no arrangement fee and there are no early repayment fees. The government will cover the first 12 months of interest charges, meaning you’ll pay 0% for the first 12 months. Before applying for a Bounce Back Loan, please ensure you can afford the repayments due after the first 12 months. Please see the example repayment schedule above for an indication of repayment amounts.

  • Do I need to be a Starling business customer?

    Yes. In order to apply for a BBLS you must have your primary business or sole trader current account with Starling. You will also need an activated card and verified email address, which are part of the new account set-up process.

  • I’ve joined the BBLS 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 accurate indication of wait times at the moment.

  • I’ve already applied for a BBL with Starling but haven’t yet been accepted. Do I also need to join the BBLS list?

    No. If you’ve already applied for a BBL, you don’t need to join the list too. We’ll continue to process your application as agreed.

  • What checks will you carry out as part of the 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).

  • Am I 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 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 agreements 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.

  • I need more than £50k, can I borrow from multiple banks?

    No, you can only borrow one facility across all banks under the coronavirus support schemes, including BBLS and CBILs. If you need more than £50k, please apply for a CBILS loan or overdraft.

  • Are you taking Personal Guarantees or any other security?

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

  • I’m a sole trader, can I get a loan under this scheme from Starling?

    Yes, if you are a sole trader, you are eligible for the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

  • As a sole trader, why do you need my tax return?

    We’re required by the British Business Bank to conduct anti-money laundering and fraud checks on customers who join the BBL scheme. For sole traders, a 2018/2019 tax form is how we perform these checks and is a requirement of the scheme. If you did not start trading until after 5th Apr 2019, and therefore do not have a 2018/19 tax return, we will use either your VAT number or your 2019/20 tax return to do these checks. We use this information only to perform required checks, not to assess affordability or eligibility.

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

    No. We’re required as part of the BBL scheme to check your 2018/19 tax return if you have it.

  • Why do sole traders need to provide more documentation than Limited Companies?

    Documentation requirements for sole traders are for business verification purposes only. We are able to verify Limited Companies via public registries.

  • My BBLS application has been successful, but why do I see a scheduled BBLS payment set up in my account?

    Although this appears as an interest payment on your account, you will also receive a credit for the same value. No actual payment will be debited from your account.

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

    If you’ve been declined, you’re unable to reapply for a BBL with Starling. This decision cannot be appealed. Please check the eligibility requirements here. Our decision does not prevent you from applying to another accredited BBLS lender.

  • I’ve been notified that I have a message in the online banking Help Centre, but no message appears? What should I do?

    This is a technical glitch that we’re fixing at the moment. If we do need any more information from you we’ll be in touch via in-app message. We’re sorry for any confusion.

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