I felt quite proud yesterday, for having spent six month now badgering, annoying and ranting at MP’s, Bank Bosses and anyone else who I could think of, and letting everyone know of the ongoing problems with the Bounce Back Loan scheme, my efforts have not been in vain.
You must hand it to Rishi Sunak, he has said repeatedly that he is always prepared to act quickly to help the self-employed when needed, and that is what he did manage to do yesterday, well he helped some some self-employed.
Faced with the devastating effects of the upcoming lockdown, he summoned high street bank bosses to a meeting at dinner time yesterday, and told them that he wanted the Bounce Back Loan scheme extended, and he also wanted to offer top ups to those who had taken out a BBL already and wanted to increase the value of their loans.
I am also led to believe those bank bosses also received a talking too regarding re-opening their new account systems, and it was made known they should do so as soon as it practically possible, and to stop taking the piss, by that I mean shutting their doors to new business account customers.
Below are the changes that have been put into place:
Extension of the Bounce Back Loan Scheme
The Bounce Back Loan Scheme was originally due to end tomorrow, however it was then extended to the 30th of November and yesterday Rishi extended it yet again, and as such you now have until January 31st 2021 to apply for a Bounce Back Loan.
How to Top Up a Bounce Back Loan
OK, the next bit is important so please do pay attention. I know many people who did take out a Bounce Back Loan months ago did not apply for the full amount they could claim. That being 25% of their 2019 calendar year turnover.
If you didn’t do so and wished you had then from next week you are going to be able to apply to have your loan topped up, and can therefore claim up to 25% of your turnover for 2019.
No word yet on how that is going to be done, however you can rest assured the accredited lenders have their tech teams working on making that live.
Be aware, and this is important the amount you can claim via a Bounce Back Loan has not been increased, and as such the maximum amount you can claim is up to £50,000. So if your estimated turnover for the calendar year 2019 was for example £200,000+ and you applied for and got paid £10,000 as your Bounce Back Loan you can now, or will be able to do so soon, apply for up to the remaining £40,000.
Also, you can only top up your loan once, so think long and hard as to the amount you wish to top it up by as you will not be able to top it up a second time.
One thing that has stopped many of you applying for a Bounce Back Loan is that you could not find a lender that would accept you as a new business bank account customer.
As you will probably be more than aware, many banks never allowed new customers to apply for a new business account for the duration of the Bounce Back Loan scheme, and one by one those that did slammed the door to new business account customers as the original deadline of the scheme approached.
I am led to believe many banks are now reviewing that position, and as such I am expecting several banks to re-open to new customers soon.
However, keep in mind the way some banks have ignored repeated pleas by the Government to allow new customers to access a bank account and then apply for a Bounce Back Loan with them, so I will be monitoring each bank moving forward, and naming and shaming those who refuse to accept new customers in the days and weeks ahead.