Special Investigation – Being Accused of Having More than One Bounce Back Loan for the Same Business?

I am aware that many people have obtained or appear to have obtained more than one Bounce Back Loan for the same business they operate.

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Back in the very early days of the scheme it was not possible for a lender to check to see if a business had applied for and had been paid out a BBL from one lender, and as such some people have been paid out twice for the same business they own by different banks.

For those of you that have been following my Twitter account since those early days will recall I mentioned such double payouts, and was also given access to a live video feed from one chap who had received two for the same business and was attempting to pay one of them back.

He was facing all manner of nonsense from the bank support rep and could not get them to understand what he was saying about the problem he wanted sorted out, however ultimately, he did pay the second one back.

That problem was eventually negated due to the introduction of the “shared industry database” and you will also be aware that database has also been riddled with errors too, as it wasn’t being used correctly by some bank staff and wasn’t being read correctly by bank staff.

People who had simply joined a Bounce Back Loan waiting list or had applied for and been declined a BBL by one lender would find themselves listed on that database, often as having been paid a BBL out when that wasn’t the case, hence the term “Imaginary Bounce Back Loan” being born.

I have seen some banks listing people as having a BBL with them when they had not actually paid out a BBL, and then finally realising their mistake when pointed out to them and having to correct their erroneous entry on that database. You will find plenty of examples of that throughout this website.

For reference if you have applied for a BBL with one lender and have not been approved for one, or have been declined, or even just added your name onto a BBL waiting list then there is a very good chance you are on that shared industry database.

Therefore if you apply to another lender for a BBL and get declined, it is highly likely due to the fact the lender you have just approached has seen your name on that database and believe you have already had a BBL.

If you haven’t then you are then faced with the nightmare task of having to get that lender to tell you who they believe you have a BBL from, and then getting a letter off that lender or lenders they name to prove they haven’t given you a BBL and possibly amend any errors by that bank on that database if they have listed you as having a BBL when that wasn’t the case.

The lender will then often approve your Bounce Back Loan once they are 100% happy you have not received a BBL from another lender once you supply them with that proof.

The rules of the Bounce Back Loan scheme do however very clearly state that you can have as many Bounce Back Loans for as many businesses you own as long as at they are not all part of a holding company at the top of their structure.

I did hear that one person had a whopping 56 (think it was 56) of them, for different LTD’s they own, for reference I heard that on LBC Radio one evening in June when the presenter was having a discussion with Emma from Enterprise Nation.

As such if for example you are a window cleaner, also own a sweet shop and own a pub then you can apply for three Bounce Back Loans as long as those three business as I say are not run with a holding company at the top of the structure.

I am more than aware that people have applied for a BBL with several lenders, for lets face it some lenders were taking weeks if not months to even start looking at most people’s applications and as such people did apply with several lenders for the same business they own.

In fact, some lenders had technical problems with their application systems and many people who did apply never actually did, and trying to contact any lender to see if their application had been submitted is and was a nightmare as support staff at most if not all banks have been very overwhelmed recently.

The rules of the Bounce Back Loan scheme are clear though, you can only have one BBL for each business you operate and not more than one per business.

There is one very obvious situation in which a lender may believe a sole trader has applied for and has been paid out a BBL more than once for the same business with different lenders when that is certainly not the case.

I will not give out details about that yet, but will be monitoring it, for if a lender does accuse you of getting more than one BBL for what appears to be the same business when that is not the case and they demand you pay it back they are wrong to do so. If you have done nothing wrong you have nothing to fear.

If, however you have been paid out twice (or more times) for the same business then you should pay the second (or third etc) one(s) back of course.

I would expect banks to be very understanding of such a situation, for they were forewarned about it by the British Business Bank at the time or should have been, and let’s face it anyone who has tried to contact a bank repeatedly on the phone to get that situation corrected will possibly have faced hours if not days of being on hold and constantly being cut off whilst on hold too, so may have done everything they could do to correct that situation but have eventually given up trying.

But as I say, if you have received more than one BBL for the same business it will need paying back, just don’t hold your breath when trying to contact a bank as you face some very well documented delays in getting through to them.