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Starling Bank supporting small businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

11th April 2020

  • Starling accredited by the British Business Bank as a ‘CBILS’ lender

  • Financial support for smaller businesses that are struggling financially as a result of coronavirus

  • Overdrafts and loans are interest and fee free for the first 12 months

Update 31 March 2021: In line with the government’s announcements, this scheme ended on 31st March. Starling is no longer accepting applications for CBILS loans. Starling plans to continue to support SMEs. We are currently in discussion with the BBB to offer Starling SMEs the government’s Recovery Loan Scheme.

Update, 3 May 2020: Following changes to government-backed support for small businesses, some of the terms of our original press release have changed. From 4 May 2020 Starling will be offering CBILS loans of £50,001 to £250,000 to limited companies that have been trading for a minimum of three years. Starling is also offering business overdrafts of £50,001 to £150,000 under the Scheme to Limited Companies and Limited Liability Partnerships. We also changed our criteria of requiring a trading history of 18 months to 36 months.

LONDON 11 April 2020: Starling, the digital bank, has been accredited by the British Business Bank as a lender under the government-backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). This will enable it to provide term loans between £5k and £250k to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that are struggling financially as a result of the coronavirus emergency. Starling will shortly confirm the date from which it will be ready to start receiving CBILS applications.

Under CBILS, the first 12 months of interest on the facility and any arrangement fees will be paid by the UK government as a Business Interruption Payment. This means smaller businesses will benefit from no upfront costs and lower initial repayments.

No personal guarantees will be required, so borrowers and guarantors will not have to put up their principal private residence as security.

SMEs with an annual turnover of up to £45 million can apply for a Starling CBILS term loan, if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • Limited Company or Limited Liability Partnership

  • Trading for more than 18 months

  • Have a good credit history with no arrears or defaults

Starling is also offering business overdrafts of £1k to £150k under the Scheme, with Sole Trader businesses also eligible to access a business overdraft up to £10k.

Loans are available for terms of up to 5 years. Overdrafts are a revolving credit facility, and renewable annually.

SMEs will be able to apply for CBILS loans via the Starling website.

Helen Bierton, Starling Bank’s Chief Banking Officer, said: “Business owners who have poured their heart and soul, not to mention their life savings, into successful enterprises are crying out for help. The important thing now is to get money into their hands. We believe that CBILS is the best way to do this. We’re delighted to be working with the British Business Bank as a CBILS lender.”

British Business Bank logo

Notes to editors

Under the Scheme rules, the government will provide lenders with a guarantee of 80% of the outstanding principal on each loan. For loans to qualify, customers must have a borrowing proposal that the lender would consider viable if not for the coronavirus pandemic. Borrowers will remain liable for repayment of 100% of the loan.

CBILS 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).

Full details on CBILS and the list of participating CBILS lenders can be found on the British Business Bank website at

Borrowers will be required to open a Starling business bank account to set up the loan. Applying for an account takes minutes.

About Starling Bank

Starling Bank is a digital bank based in the UK. Its banking app offers personal, business, joint and euro current accounts on Android and iOS. The Starling Marketplace offers customers in-app access to a selection of third-party financial services. Starling also offers B2B banking and payments services.

It has opened more than 1.3m accounts, including 140,000 business accounts. Since launching its SME accounts in March 2018, it has become the UK’s fastest-growing business bank.

Headquartered in London, with offices in Southampton and Cardiff, Starling is a fully licensed and regulated bank, founded by Anne Boden, former Allied Irish Banks COO, in 2014.


Alexandra Frean, Head of Corporate Affairs

+44 7973 668363

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