Business Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS)

Join our BBLS list

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.

We know that many small business owners are desperate for a BBLS loan and frustrated at having to wait to be invited to apply from our interest list, so we want to give you a realistic idea of what to expect. Demand for this lending remains extremely high and we’re processing applications as quickly as we can. It may be some weeks before customers who have joined the BBLS interest list are invited to apply for a loan and there is no guarantee that everybody on the list will be invited to apply. Being on our interest list does not prevent you from applying with another BBLS lender, so it may be worth joining other wait lists or applying to another lender.

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.

Sole trader current account applications are temporarily closed

Demand for business accounts at Starling is running at record levels. We’d like to serve everyone, but regret to say that we’ll not be opening any new sole trader accounts for the time being. This will enable us to better serve existing sole trader customers. We’re sorry to disappoint. We aim to reopen sole trader applications as soon as possible.

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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.

  • 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 you started trading in 2019, then please use your first year of trading turnover. If you have not yet been trading for a year, please use your projected turnover.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

    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 your 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.

  • 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 BBL with Starling. Our decision does not prevent you from applying to another accredited BBLS lender.

  • Do I need to be a Starling business customer and does Starling need to be my main business account?

    Yes. In order to apply for a Bounce Back Loan 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 have received a Bounce Back Loan, can I apply for a CBILs?

    According to the rules set up by the British Business Bank, you are only permitted to have either a Bounce Back Loan or a CBIL, it is not possible to have both. Once you have accepted a Bounce Back Loan, you are not able to apply for a CBIL and it is not possible to transfer this to a CBIL.

  • I was trading before 1st March 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 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 indication of wait times at the moment. You are free to apply with other accredited lenders whilst remaining on our interest list.

  • 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 Bounce Back Loan, you don’t need to join the list too. We’ll continue to process your application as agreed.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    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 should I expect until I get paid?

    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.

  • 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 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).

    Before being able to fill out an application form, all applicants will need:
    - An activated Starling business (physical) debit card (the only way to activate your card is in the app once you’ve received it, Starling Customer Service cannot do this for you).
    - A verified email address.

    Sole traders, will also be required to provide additional documentation.

  • As a sole trader, what documentation do I need to provide?

    Sole traders who started trading on or before 5th of April 2019 will need:
    - Your 2018/2019 Tax return (SA100)
    - Your 2018/2019 Tax calculation (SA302), which you can find on your government gateway account

    Sole traders who started trading between 6th of April 2019 and 1st of March 2020 will need the 2019/20 SA100 & 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:
    - Not filed your 2019/20 return
    - Finding your SA302

  • 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:
    - Not filed your 2019/20 return
    - Finding your SA302

  • I haven’t submitted my 2019/20 return yet, what should I do?

    The quickest way to file your return is online.

    First of all you will need to register to submit your self assessment online. Once you have registered you will be sent an activation code to submit your return.

    Fill out all relevant sections of your return and submit in section 8. Once submitted on the right hand side of the screen there will be options to ‘view your calculation’ and ‘View/Print/Save your Return’. Go to both sections and save the documents needed for your application.

    If you use an accountant you may contact them to do this on your behalf.

  • How do I get my SA302 Calculation?

    There are 3 different methods depending on how you submit your return:

    Option 1 - Paper: If you have a paper copy of your SA302 from HMRC please use this. If you have lost your copy, please contact HMRC to issue a new one.

    Option 2 - Online: If you use the online government gateway service:
    - Log in to your online account.
    - Follow the link ’tax return options’.
    - Choose the year from the drop down menu and click the ’Go’ button.
    - Select the ’view return’ button.
    - Follow the link ’view calculation’ from the left hand navigation menu.
    - Follow the link ’view and print your calculation’ at the bottom of the page.
    - Follow the link ’print your full calculation’

    Third party software: If you or your accountant use commercial software to do your return, you’ll need to use that software to print your tax calculation. It might be called something different in the software - for example ‘tax computation’.

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

    We use your tax return to verify your business. 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 your 2019/20 tax return to do these checks.

  • 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)?

    You can call HMRC to get your UTR, receiving it via post will take longer.

  • I have sent my documents in and had this confirmed, why is my application still saying awaiting evidence in the online bank?

    Thank you for sending in all the required documentation. As part of an update to our loan system all customers who originally didn’t send in any documents, have to supply a document through the online bank loan page. We know this cumbersome if you have already sent them in to the BBLS inbox but this is the only way we can further process your application.

    If you have had confirmation back from the inbox that you have sent in the correct documents, and they have updated the page. Then all you have to do is upload any documents for both sections in the online bank, and your application will be pushed through.

  • I applied for the wrong amount, can I change this?

    Unfortunately, you are not able to change the amount that you have applied for. You are also not able to get a top up or an additional loan as we are only permitted to give one Bounce Back Loan per business/person.

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

    In your account you will see interest charges scheduled 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 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.

  • 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.

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