Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

CBILS was launched to help businesses in times of COVID-19. Here it is explained - plain and simple.

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Government supported scheme for your business

CBILS is a programme run by the British Business Bank to support businesses who can afford lending products but lack the security necessary to be approved.

Key Facts

£5,000 to £5 million loan facilities (some lenders will go below £25k)

Invoice finance, Term Loans, Asset Finance, Overdrafts

First 12 months is interest and fee free

Capital repayment holiday of 6 to 12 months are available

No PG’s for debt under £250,000

Lending above £250,000 PG’s are limited to 20% of debt

Insufficient security is no longer a condition to access the scheme

Interest-free for 12 months

Affordability - what lenders look for

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Repaying the loan

The borrower will always be responsible for repaying the loan. The government will only repay the loan if the business cannot - up to 80%.

Consequently, the financial institutions are still taking a risk on the lend. Our view, at, is that lenders will only lend to businesses that have recently shown affordability to support the loan.


Maximum 25% of turnover

Loans in the scheme are limited to a maximum of 25% of 2019 turnover or double the annual wage bill, whichever is lower. 

Revenue from 'trading activities'

At least 50% of revenue must be from ‘trading activities’ this excludes rental income.

For UK-based businesses

Be UK-based in its business activity, with an annual turnover of no more than £45m.

Viable borrowing proposal

Have a borrowing proposal which would be considered viable* by the lender, if it wasn't for the pandemic, and for which the lender believes the provision of finance will enable the business to trade out of any short-to-medium term difficulty.

* (General rule is that a viable business is one that has retained profit, post dividends, year after year for last three years) 


Our initial workflow is for accountants and advisers. If you as a business owner wish to apply for a CBILS loan then you may wish to go direct to the partner page or contact us to create an application for you.

  • Last 3 years full accounts with detailed P&L - ensure serviceability
  • Last 6 months business bank statement - accountant conduct
  • Up to date management accounts - ensure serviceability
  • Aged debtor and creditor lists - ensure payments are on time
  • Confirmation of any outstanding debt (provider, term, repayment)
  • Statement of assets, liabilities, income and expenditure from Director/Shareholders
  • Cashflow forecasts used to determine the working capital required

A significant factor in the lending process is the “Time to Funds”. I.E how long does it take from submitting an application to receiving money in your account to pay e.g. rent, payroll and suppliers.

Our estimation is that this will be around 2 - 4 weeks for unsecured (meaning mostly term loans or invoice finance) and 4 - 12 weeks for secured (lending secured against property, assets etc).

The reason for this is that secured finance will typically require processes such as property valuations or second charges. Many of which take multiple weeks even at the best of time.

As a result, businesses may wish to apply for non-CBILS products alongside CBILS to have a wider range of options to choose from.

At present, the government has indicated that primary residence is not required as part of the CBILS security for the majority. The Big Four banks have agreed that they will not take personal guarantees as security for lending below £250,000 under CBILS

While EFG were not available for refinancing the CBILS scheme, the government has shared guidance that CBILS is expected to be available to refinance existing loans. This will be part of the underwriting process from each provider.

Businesses much be eligible for CBILS products based on their business history. The business must:

  • have experienced a loss in trading or any impact on business performance as a consequence of coronavirus
  • have been able to afford this lending before the coronavirus outbreak
  • be based in the UK, with a group turnover of no more than £45 million per year
  • not be subject to collections proceedings or collective insolvency proceedings (for most lenders)
  • Each will be subject to underwriting decisions of the each lender.