It was like a dream come true, that being Rishi Sunak announcing the launch of a new scheme to help SME’s get access to business finance that they have often struggled to get, a scheme brought on of course due to a pandemic and lockdown.
All a business owner would have to do would be to fill out a simple application form he said, with just 7 questions, and in days they would be paid up to 25% of their 2019 turnover as a business loan, with the interest rate set at 2.5%.
Not only that the Government would pay the interest on that loan for the first year, with no repayments due by the applicant for the first 12 months, the loan was set at 6 years initially, and as such five years of repayments were then due from month thirteen onward.
I set up my Twitter account in good time for the launch, and as sure as night follows day plenty of people started giving me feedback on their application process and asking me all manner of questions about the Bounce Back Loan scheme.
Keep in mind that way back in the early days of the Bounce Back Loan scheme, only a small handful of lenders were part of the scheme, those being the major banks.
In the first week those few lenders had paid out an impressive £8.38bn and a total of 268,173 in Bounce Back Loans were approved.
Here are a small number of messages I received way back during week one of the BBL scheme, and as you will see in the video below it was a painless experience back then, if of course you had an account with one of the lenders that were part of the scheme.
However, back in the early days there was something of a mad scramble for those without an account at any of the lenders that had been approved to offer Bounce Back Loans, to get an account with those lenders.
The first batch of lenders approved were:
- Lloyds/Bank of Scotland
- Danske Bank
- Clydesdale Bank
- Yorkshire Bank
Other Lenders Also Approved During Week One:
- Allied Irish Bank (GB)
- AIB (NI)
- The Co-operative Bank
- Starling Bank
It is fair to say that week one went fairly well, however you will not need me to tell you that getting a Bounce Back Loan for many was going to turn into a long and tortuous journey…..