Bounce Back Loans: all you need to know

Picture of my son and my husband bouncing on space hoppers for my post about Bounce Back Loans

Get your business bouncing back

I applied for a Bounce Back Loan today – here’s how Bounce Back Loans might help your business too!

Bounce Back Loans are the new kid on the block for financial support during coronavirus, launched on Monday 4 May.

Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, has been doling out money hand over fist since his first budget back in March. Mega loans for major companies, furlough payments for employees, lump sums for certain self-employed – haemorrhaging billions of pounds.

Trouble is, the banks have been reluctant to dole out cash to small businesses that might be crippled by coronavirus. Plus, many self-employed were screaming about the lack of support, if they fell through the cracks of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). No joy from SEISS if you work via a limited company, only became self-employed since April 2019, get less than half your income from self-employment or earn more than £50,000 a year in profit.

But now Bounce Back Loans are riding to the rescue, designed to get cash to small businesses fast.

Pin for later:

Pinterest size image of space hoppers for my post on Bounce Back Loans

What is a Bounce Back Loan?

These loans are meant to help small businesses hit by coronavirus. I am not a fan of debt, but they look good.

  • Borrow between £2,500 and £50,000.
    • So not ‘bail out Virgin Atlantic’ huge sums here, but useful cash
  • Maximum 25% of your annual turnover
    • Turnover is the bigger figure, not the profits or losses after deducting costs used for SEISS. I just lifted the turnover figure from my 18/19 tax return. I believe the banks will also take full year 2019 figures.
    • You cannot top up or increase a bounce back  loan after being approved, or apply for two bounce back loans for the same business, so think carefully about how much to borrow.
  • No interest or repayments during the first year
    • Yup, free money for a year
  • Interest fixed at 2.5% afterwards
    • That’s waaaay lower than interest on normal commercial loans, credit cards and overdrafts.
  • Loans last for six years – but crucially, you can pay money back sooner without getting whacked with early repayment charges
  • You don’t have to put up any security
    • Which means the bank can’t take away your home or your car, for example, if you can’t pay the money back.
  • Super simple application process and fast pay outs
    • The Government is backing the loans and covering interest and fees for the first year, which means the banks are actually willing to dole out the money.
    • Very little required in terms of paperwork, proof your business has been damaged by coronavirus or detail on what you’re going to do with the money.

So as loans, the Bounce Back version are pretty attractive: no interest or repayments for the first year, a low interest rate afterwards, and no penalties if you pay them back before the six years are up.

Sole traders, sole directors of limited companies, and people who only recently became self-employed can all apply, provided their businesses were established before March 2020, have been adversely affected by Covid-19, and are still going.

As support during the pandemic, the Bounce Back Loans have other benefits too:

  • They don’t stop you getting other support from the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) or Universal Credit
  • You can keep working away at your business, unlike employees who are furloughed
  • As a sole trader, you won’t pay tax on the money, unlike any SEISS payout.

Where can I get a Bounce Back Loan?

A whole host of big banks offer Bounce Back Loans, including (deep breath): HSBC, Lloyds, TSB, Barclays, Santander, NatWest, RBS and Bank of Scotland, plus the Co-operative Bank, Clydesdale Bank, Yorkshire Bank, Danske Bank, Ulster Bank and Starling.

More recent additions include Tide, Bank of Ireland, Allied Irish Bank (AIB) and Skipton Business Finance. You can find the full list of banks accredited to offer Bounce Back Loans here.

But no Monzo and none of the building societies *cough* Nationwide.

So if you’ve already got a business account with one of those banks, you’re sorted. If you’re willing to open a business account, a few will let you sign up as a new customer and still apply for a Bounce Back Loan (Barclays, NatWest, RBS and Ulster Bank. Starling started off letting new customers open accounts and apply, but is now prioritising existing customers).

Limited companies have to have a proper business account. The issue comes if, like me, you’re a sole trader who has been pottering along using a personal current account for your business, to avoid the pesky fees and hassle of an official business account.

What if I don’t have a business account?

Most of the banks won’t let you get your mitts on a Bounce Back Loan without a business account, even if you’re already a customer.

Only HSBC, Santander, Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank will let existing personal customers apply, without opening a new account. Buried in the HSBC small print, it also says sole traders who are First Direct personal current account customers, with businesses that started on or before 5 April 2019, can apply through the HSBC online portal.

NatWest, RBS and Ulster Bank will let existing customers open a ‘feeder’ account instead, a temporary account which just receives the loan money before paying it out somewhere else.

But if you’re not an existing customer of those banks, and you’re still holding out against a business account, the only option is HSBC. HSBC will let brand new customers open a feeder account, not just a business account, to apply for a Bounce Back Loan. You might end up further back in the queue than existing customers or business account applicants, but the money should show up in the end. Brace yourself for delays though:

 UPDATE 18 MAY: So many readers have commented about delays in getting Bounce Back Loans from HSBC that I asked for a comment, and a spokesperson said: 

“We’ve seen unprecedented demand for Bounce Back Loans. We have been working hard to get these much-needed loans to our customers as quickly as possible and we apologise for any inconvenience. Loan offer letters are being emailed to customers and funds will be received shortly after them being accepted.  We have advised businesses that aren’t currently our customers to go to their own bank first because the due diligence on anti-money laundering and fraud checks for account opening will take significantly longer.”

Originally, I suggested challenger bank Starling as an alternative. Starling offers a free business bank account and normally has a great rep for opening accounts pdq, which seemed like a fast route to a Bounce Back Loan. However, Starling does then expect you to use its account as your main business account.

However, due to record demand, Starling has paused applications for new business accounts for sole traders until 1 June. Limited companies and limited liability partnerships can still apply, but as of 21 May Starling is prioritising Bounce Back Loan applications from established customers.

As of May 17, Starling was also rejecting a pretty high 1 in 6 bounce back loan applications:

Why did I apply for a Bounce Back Loan?

Normally, I steer clear of debt. No car financing, overdraft or outstanding credit card balances. Heck, we don’t even have a mortgage, after making the big move from London to Suffolk.

But I do like free money, and for 12 months, the Bounce Back Loans are completely free: no fees, no interest, no repayments. As a sole trader, I won’t even have to pay any tax on the borrowing, unlike any lump sum from SEISS.

Officially, Bounce Back Loans can be used for investment or the costs of running your business, including bills, debts and wages. Directors of limited companies could also take money as dividends, but it’s worth checking with your accountant about the tax implications. The form makes it plain that the money has to provide economic benefit to your business, and be used for business and not personal purposes.

In practice, a Bounce Back Loan could come in very handy for :

  • clearing expensive debt
  • investing in your business
  • boosting lower income
  • bolstering emergency savings
  • contributing to tax bills
  • sitting back and hoping to become a millionaire

For anyone who already has expensive debts, a Bounce Back Loan could clear some or all of that burden, with the breathing space of no interest payments for a year.

I’m incredibly fortunate that as a self-employed money journalist and blogger, I can continue working during lockdown. I’m even luckier because although some work has been delayed or disappeared, I do still have some regular contracts, and therefore income.

But having lived through the 2008 credit crunch, I’m only too aware that work can take a while to pick up.

As an optimist, a Bounce Back Loan could help invest in my business, whether as training courses, ad spend, broadcast equipment, a website redesign or creating a logo. As a pessimist, the money could bolster income or emergency savings should work disappear.

I spent yesterday crunching the numbers for my 2019/20 tax return. This is highly unusual, as I don’t normally touch my tax return until the dying days of January. However, I wanted to work out quite how much I’ll owe in tax next January, especially if I defer my July tax bill till then.

Because do note that while the Government is offering to delay the July tax payment, it won’t actually disappear. Instead, you just get stuck with paying it later, on top of your normal January tax bill. And given lockdown didn’t start until right at the end of the 19/20 tax year, January 2021 tax bills could still be hefty. Any drop in income caused by coronavirus will only really be reflected in the January 2022 tax bill, although you could ask for a lower ‘payment on account’ part for 20/21 due in January 2021 and July 2021.

So even if I don’t need the Bounce Back Loan money instantly, it could come in handy towards a chunky future tax bill.

Stashing the cash in a savings account won’t generate much, when interest rates are so rubbish. You won’t get much more than a tenner for every £1,000 borrowed. But I could potentially bung the lot in Premium Bonds while waiting to use it for my business, cross my fingers for a million pound jackpot*, then pay the loan back before the interest kicks in.

*Odds of winning a million pounds with any one Premium Bond are 1 in 43.07 million, so don’t hold your breath

The drawbacks to Bounce Back Loans

However attractive Bounce Back Loans might be, they are still debt.

You will need to pay the money back, plus interest if you borrow longer than a year.

If you’re likely to blow the lot with nothing to show for it, then borrowing could be a massive mistake. If borrowing would keep you awake at night, steer clear.

Even if you do decide to go for a loan, remember just because you can borrow up to 25% of your annual turnover doesn’t mean you should. As my driving instructor used to say about the speed limit – it’s a limit not a target. If a smaller sum would be helpful, and easier to repay, borrow less. And if your business picks up, and you are able to pay the loan back quicker, you’ll pay less (or even zero) interest.

What next?

On Tuesday 13 May, I sat around on hold to HSBC long enough to ask for a feeder account. Apparently I should hear back within five working days, at which point I can actually apply for a Bounce Back Loan, and hope to have the money a few days after that.

But if you already have a business account with the right bank, you could get a payout even quicker, potentially only a day or two after applying.

Will keep updating this post to let you know how I get on!

Day 6, Monday 18 May: Sounds like many banks have been overwhelmed by applications for Bounce Back Loans. I haven’t yet heard from back from HSBC. Many readers below have commented about delays with HSBC and Starling, although others have had their loans paid out promptly. 

Day 7, Tuesday 19 May: Had a call from HSBC, six days after asking for a feeder account, booking a call tomorrow (20 May) to go through the checks needed. So progress, but still not near any cash!

Day 8, Wednesday 20 May: 65 minutes (!) on the phone with HSBC, providing all the info for the ‘Know Your Customer’ and ID checks to open a feeder account. Wish I’d know I’d have to take a selfie before the call started… Told it could take 4 to 5 working days to confirm the account had been opened and then I can apply for the actual Bounce Back Loan.

Now – over to you. Have you applied for a Bounce Back Loan? Why does it appeal to you? Or why would you avoid one?


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10 ways to find money in a hurry before payday

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  1. Maz
    14th May 2020 / 8:01 am

    Thanks for this, good article but what credit checks are carried out and can this go against you if it’s not your direct bank? As my business account is not with any listed.


    • Faith
      14th May 2020 / 11:02 am

      Getting the Bounce Back Loan is the easy part: you just need to have a business based in the UK that has been negatively affected by coronavirus and was operating on 1 March 2020. You don’t have to provide proof you can afford the loan, though you will need to self-certify that you’re not an ‘undertaking in difficulty’ and you will be able to repay the loan as scheduled.
      However, if you need to open a new business bank account to apply for the loan, then yes, you will have to go through a credit check. The alternative would be to use HSBC to open a feeder account, which is only used to receive the money from your Bounce Back Loan before paying it into your existing business account.

      • Maz
        15th May 2020 / 10:03 pm

        Thank you!

        • Rob Price
          22nd May 2020 / 5:13 pm

          HSBC seem to be taking ages applied as an existing first direct customer on the 7th May, as of today 22nd May not heard a thing.

      • Lee Grant
        24th May 2020 / 6:23 pm

        Hi there I have two businesses, one (vehicle sales) is a sole trader company T/A …. & the other is a limited company (Mot Testing Station) which I am the director off with my wife who is the sole shareholder 100% holdings. I am with Barclays and have applied and accepted for a small bbl loan for the sole trader business which I intend to use to pay off a old loan for the business which is high interest rate and give us some better breathing during this crisis. We have also applied for bbl for the limited company via our Barclays online account but they seem to be taking there time and suggesting we may not be entitled to a 2nd bbl as we are group. The businesses are two separate companies with different structures and business addresses. I don’t hold shares in the LTD company so am not a person with significant interest so we should be accepted for bbl.
        I’m I missing something ?

  2. Lena May
    14th May 2020 / 12:35 pm

    Hi, great article and I went through the same process with HSBC for a feeder account, waited for a week and heard nothing. So I called again and eventually got through to a lovely guy called John who informed me that because I had a First Direct personal account that I could go straight onto the HSBC online site and claim my bounce back loan! Something that they had kept rather well hidden.
    So just a heads up for any First Direct customers that they can get straight on with their application.
    As you say it was a very easy and simple form and just had to attach my last self assessment.

    • Faith
      14th May 2020 / 2:04 pm

      Top tip about being able to use a First Direct personal account when applying to HSBC, I’ll add that to the post. Many thanks!

  3. Petra
    14th May 2020 / 12:37 pm

    Hi, Thanks for the great article.
    I’ve just applied for a buisness account and got it via Nat west, I’m an excisting customer. I can get £7000 bounce back loan. Could I invest all of it into Premium bonds?

    • Faith
      14th May 2020 / 2:03 pm

      The terms of the Bounce Back Loans say that you have to use the money “only to provide economic benefit to my/our business, for example, providing working capital, or investing in my/our business. I/We also confirm that the Bounce Back Loan will be used wholly for business purposes and not personal purposes.”

      If as a sole trader you use Premium Bonds as a safe place to store the money ready to use in your business, I don’t see why that would be a problem. No-one is insisting you spend it all on day 1.

    • Ermiya
      19th May 2020 / 2:29 pm

      What is premium bonds can u help me please ?

  4. Jay_ne
    14th May 2020 / 2:34 pm

    Applied and approved for the loan in 2 days, signed all electronic docs 4 days ago and heard nothing since. No indication of when funds will be credited to the HSBC business account I already held. Excellent scheme just lacking in communication at the final step.

  5. Sarah
    14th May 2020 / 4:23 pm

    Thanks for writing this, it definitely helped clear up a couple of things up for me. One mainly the question of if we were allowed to use it to pay our own wages out of it to boost the little income we have coming in at the moment.

      • Tsitsi
        14th May 2020 / 6:59 pm

        Very informative. I applied and approved, can I top up a Bounce Back Loan. My accountant tells me that my turnover was note than what I put down. The money has already been paid into my account.

        • Faith
          14th May 2020 / 7:13 pm

          Worth checking with the specific bank you borrowed from, but I suspect you will not be able to top up your loan now you have already applied and received the money.

          In the common questions about the Bounce Back Loan from RBS, for example, it says:
          “Can I increase the amount that I’ve requested through a Bounce Back Loan, after I’ve applied?
          No, you’ll only be able to apply for one loan through the Bounce Back scheme, and you won’t be able to adjust this once you’ve been approved. Carefully consider what funds you’ll need before applying.”

  6. Ali
    14th May 2020 / 6:49 pm

    Before completing the very simple RBS BBL application form (I am an existing business customer) I am looking to find out if lump sum repayments can be made during the full 6 year term of the loan? I appreciate that you can repay in full early without penalty but can you overpay lump sums throughout? I cannot find my answers on the RBS website. It makes a huge difference to the amount I initially apply for, I’d rather borrow more than less to be one the safe side as it is a one-off request, but I want to repay as much back as possible before the interest kicks in in 12 months time, yet this will probably not be the full balance at that point.

    • Faith
      15th May 2020 / 10:02 am

      Hi Ali –
      I couldn’t find this in the small print of my own application, so I asked the HSBC press office if it was possible to make partial early repayments, rather than clearing the whole balance, and was told:
      “Customers can make part payments. They will only be charged interest on the outstanding amount of the loan (after the initial 12 month period).”
      Have also put in a query with RBS, as relevant to your own situation, and am waiting to hear back.

  7. Martin
    14th May 2020 / 9:51 pm

    Hi after reading your article, I’ve realised I’ve made a mistake and been to conservative with the amount of money I borrowed. Can I apply for further money to completely re consolidate all my debt ?
    Thanks in advance Martin

    • Faith
      15th May 2020 / 9:57 am

      Hi Martin –
      As above, it’s worth checking with the specific bank you borrowed from, but I suspect you will not be able to top up your loan once you have already applied.

      In the common questions about the Bounce Back Loan from RBS, for example, it says:
      “Can I increase the amount that I’ve requested through a Bounce Back Loan, after I’ve applied?
      No, you’ll only be able to apply for one loan through the Bounce Back scheme, and you won’t be able to adjust this once you’ve been approved. Carefully consider what funds you’ll need before applying.”


  8. Kimberley Willis
    14th May 2020 / 11:48 pm

    Thanks great read cleared a lot up for me in my mind. One thing I am wondering, can the loan be used to ‘re start a new business or can this only be used within my current business?

    • Faith
      15th May 2020 / 10:01 am

      Hi Kimberley – I’m hazy about that one. Suppose potentially you could use the loan for your current business, which could then free up money to restart your new business. The loan terms are pretty flexible so long as the loan is used for business rather than personal purposes. The most important part will be making sure you can afford to pay the loan back. Good luck!

  9. Graham
    15th May 2020 / 10:33 am

    Great read. But Starling the one that is supposed to be quick and simple want your tac tax returns and calculations when applying for a BBL. This is the case with myself having started my business month 29th Of November 2019. I havnt got around to doing this as yet and my 4 and little bit months of active trading does not show true reflection on what my 12 month turnover was to be, whilst I had a reasonably good start, I secured a lot of work before the pandemic which as now all but gone on the back burner, but will not show on any tax return therefore if Statling does get a copy of my SA100 and SA302 will they base there assessment on the 4 months of trading records. Starling by the way are online, so trying to get a sensible conversation with someone is a tad tricky. Good luck to everyone, but so far my experience has been somewhat difficult, considering it was suppose to be an easy process.

    • Faith
      15th May 2020 / 3:54 pm

      Hi Graham,

      Must be gutting that a recent business that was going so well has been hit by the virus.
      Fear you are right: any lender will only be able to consider turnover from the few months since starting, which means borrowing will be restricted to max 25% of that.
      Suspect you will have more chance of applying successfully, even if for a small amount, if you file your 19/20 tax return now, rather than at the end of next January, so you can submit the return as supporting paperwork.

      • 17th May 2020 / 1:10 pm

        For newer businesses like yours turnover is based on pre coronavirus projections when applying with the originally approved lenders and no proof of those projections are required, just self certifications. I am applying with NatWest as they were quicker setting up a new business account but the same applies to Barclays who were a little slower.

  10. 15th May 2020 / 2:13 pm

    Dear Faith

    What a breath of fresh air you are! You speak my language as opposed to bankspeak.

    I applied, and was accepted for the bounceback loan, through my HSBC business account, on 9th May, and am still waiting for the money. I have called twice during the week to speak to HSBC but all I get is that they are very busy/overloaded, and I will have to be patient. I just need to know when I am likely to get the money so I can settle some bills.


  11. Gabi
    15th May 2020 / 2:58 pm

    Hi just wondering how you got on with HSBC? I’ve actually had a business account with them for 7 years and applied for the bounce back loan on the 4th, got a document to sign on the 8th which I duly signed straight away and haven’t heard a thing since so 14 days after applying? Nothing quick and simple about that process!

  12. Jonathan
    15th May 2020 / 2:59 pm

    Good article. Query, what is the definiton of “group” for Bounce Back Loans? I am an investor in, and controlling shareholder, in five completely separate businesses. 2 doing ok and no funding needed, but 3 need Bounce Back Loans. Can one get a loan for EACH company. There are NOT in a group nor part of any structure but 3 completely separate busnesses doing 3 completely separate things. The only common link is I am the major shareholder in each? Surely I shoudl not have to decide to “save one child” and not the others Any thoughts?

    • Faith
      15th May 2020 / 3:28 pm

      Hi Jonathan,

      It’s a tricky one, because as you’ve found, the definition of ‘group’ isn’t clear. You definitely can’t apply for more than one Bounce Back Loan for the same business, as that would leave you open to legal proceedings.

      Are the businesses limited companies? If so, my understanding is that any application is on behalf of the business as opposed to you as an individual. Each individual limited company could therefore apply for a Bounce Back Loan. However, the lender might ask you to show the businesses are clearly separate and operating in different sectors, which could then make the application process longer.

      If you can get actually get through on the phone, worth asking your bank before making multiple applications.

      Cagey ‘possibly’ view by HB&O accountants here:

  13. B sowden
    15th May 2020 / 6:40 pm

    I got a bounce back loan but didnt apply for enough can I apply again thankyou

    • Faith
      18th May 2020 / 10:06 am

      It might be worth checking with the specific bank you borrowed from, but I don’t think you can apply again once you’ve got a Bounce Back Loan.

      In the common questions about the Bounce Back Loan from RBS, for example, it says:
      “Can I increase the amount that I’ve requested through a Bounce Back Loan, after I’ve applied?
      No, you’ll only be able to apply for one loan through the Bounce Back scheme, and you won’t be able to adjust this once you’ve been approved. Carefully consider what funds you’ll need before applying.”


  14. Karen
    15th May 2020 / 7:18 pm

    I opened a new starling business account,(had to open a personal acc first) but then you can go in and open a business acc immediately and it was done in seconds. I have received my bank cards for both accounts within 2 days, of which you need the CVV number to apply for the bounce back loan, but if it is all as quick as that for the loan I’m impressed. I did also apply for an HSBC business account and this took over a week, so on speed definitely worth looking at starling, but as you say on pause to June 🙁

    • jason rose
      15th May 2020 / 8:00 pm

      I applied for a bounce back today after setting up a business account with starling .now 3 hours later I get an email saying I had been turned down .my credit is rating is poor but my 2018/19 books are all ok. And I was under the impression that credit checks didn’t effect it .has anyone else had same problem ?

      • Stephen malton
        16th May 2020 / 8:36 pm

        Same here, I was under the impression credit rating didn’t matter but looks like it may do!

      • Harry
        18th May 2020 / 4:26 am

        Had the same and also been rejected by 4 other banks, may have to consider folding

      • Faith
        18th May 2020 / 10:10 am

        Jonathan, Stephen, Harry –

        Sorry to hear you’ve been turned down for Bounce Back Loans. Looks like Starling is rejecting quite a lot of loan applications – one in six based on the 14 May tweet by the CEO, Anne Starling (now added to the post).

    • Faith
      18th May 2020 / 10:07 am

      Karen – Glad you had such a positive experience opening accounts with Starling. Hope it works just as well with any Bounce Back Loan application.

  15. Graham
    15th May 2020 / 7:49 pm

    Applied for one with my bank, Starling , as a sole trader yesterday, got rejected today, so even with no liability for the bank, they still turn you down. So much for helping small businesses at a difficult time.

    • Andy
      15th May 2020 / 11:37 pm

      Same here!

      • Lisa Tapp
        19th May 2020 / 2:41 pm

        Same here not happy with starling, have been a personal customer for a long time with a good amount of cash going through my account. But turned my bounce back down

  16. Andy
    15th May 2020 / 11:37 pm

    Great article!

    I have been with Tide Bank for 4 years, but they weren’t on the list of approved lenders, until today.

    So I joined Starling a few weeks ago, but today they declined my bounce back loan. I also applied for an HSBC feeder account well over a week ago but heard nothing since, they were supposed to ring me?

    My business is a partnership, we are wedding and corporate caterers with every booking postponed and cancelled for the next six months. We have been trading for 8 years, always made a profit, I don’t have a poor credit score, a small turnover of £65,000 and only asking for £12,500….. my question is if Tide say no too, then they are all being selective surely, so what do I do and who on earth do I go to to obtain the BBL?

    There must be loads like me that have accounts with small internet only banks and now struggling to get the help needed.

    Any advice would be great!

    • Faith
      18th May 2020 / 10:13 am

      Hi Andy –
      Sorry to hear you’ve been declined for a Bounce Back Loan with Starling. It does seem that Starling a declining a lot of applications, one in six according to the tweet by Anne Boden, Starling CEO, now added to the post.
      I’m in a same situation with HSBC – applied for a feeder account and haven’t heard back yet. Suspect the demand has been overwhelming keeping my fingers crossed I will hear back in future.

  17. Ian
    16th May 2020 / 1:05 am

    Just received my bounceback loan in two days
    £50,000 I have invested heavily this year in my hairdressing business but some of the work I wanted to do in the main salon area would’ve required the shop to be closed for some days so this has worked out really well for me .
    I will not be using the full 50,000 And probably could’ve use my own money.
    So funny for years ago I bought my business partner out we had a business account with a £6000 overdraft facility which was really used.
    I wanted to open a new business account in my name and with the same £6000 facility with the same bank I was made to jump through all sorts of hopes to get the facility it took weeks .
    Just couldn’t believe it today when £50,000 turned up in my bank account within two days of applying i’m definitely going to be disciplined with it I am a strong believer in investing in your business money in the bank in my book

    • Faith
      18th May 2020 / 10:14 am

      Hi Ian – Glad your Bounce Back Loan money has arrived, all best wishes for investing in your business, hope it works out well once the lockdown restrictions are lifted.

  18. Gary
    16th May 2020 / 8:00 am

    Applied to HSBC for a bounce back loan on 7th May, had the confirmation email on 11th, signed the online doc’s and dd mandate and sent straight back.
    Today is 16th and we are still waiting.
    We have chased up HSBC and they are so vague as to when it will be processed.
    We are an existing HSBC business customer also.
    The wait continues…

    • Steve
      16th May 2020 / 10:15 am

      HSBC are dragging their heels on this. I applied online last Monday, got the approval and offer docs on Wednesday. Then nothing…

      I spent a long time on hold yesterday and gave up on the phone – their systems recommended using online chat, but although the adviser said they would “escalate” the process, they couldn’t say anything other than that they would send the funds “as soon as they can.”

      It’s busy, I’m sure, but other banks are paying out much quicker than HSBC. How difficult can it be? I mean, lending money is what banks DO, isn’t it?

    • Faith
      18th May 2020 / 10:16 am

      Hi Gary and Steve,
      Sorry to hear about the delays with HSBC even after submitting your application documents. Does seem they have been overwhelmed by demand so fingers crossed your loan money does come through. I have asked HSBC for a statement about the delays, will add it to the blog post if and when I hear back.

  19. Barry Rowlands
    16th May 2020 / 3:11 pm

    Hi, I am planning to exit my business in a year or so, however the bounce back loan will be extremely useful for us at the moment. Will I have any liability at all if I sell my business or reallocate my shares to family members and then the business starts to fail? I’d imagine that the process is treated the same as any other business liability and at the time of sale and the new partners/owners become responsible for the loan? Not that I think it will fail, just looking to dot the I’s and cross the T’s! I’d like to enjoy my retirement and not worry that this may come back to bite me!

    • Faith
      20th May 2020 / 1:30 pm

      Hi Barry –

      Bounce back loans are business loans, not personal loans. I would agree with you that if you sell a limited company or otherwise pass on the shares, the responsibility for repayments passes to the new owners.

      The British Business Bank is not very specific about what happens if there are repayment issues, just says:

      “What happens if I find I’m struggling to repay the loan?
      You should talk to the lender if you are experiencing financial difficulties and they will have standard processes in place to support customers in those circumstances.
      Lenders are not permitted to require personal guarantees for the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.
      For sole traders or small partnerships, who often risk their personal assets when borrowing, the terms of the Bounce Back Loan Scheme means no recovery action can be taken over a principal private residence or a primary personal vehicle.”


  20. C Haynes
    16th May 2020 / 3:31 pm

    Hi, I believe I couldn’t use the loan to purchase fixed assets, other than to replace existing assets with equivalent assets. Would replacing a van be acceptable?
    Could I make extra lump sum payments on the loan?

    • Faith
      18th May 2020 / 10:29 am

      Hi – the Bounce Back Loans need to be used for the economic benefit of your business, so that would seem to cover replacing a work van (as opposed to say buying a car for personal reasons).
      For extra lump sum payments, worth checking with your specific lender, but HSBC has confirmed that yes, borrowers can make partial early repayments, and I’m waiting for similar confirmation from RBS.

  21. 16th May 2020 / 6:09 pm

    Hi Faith,
    Good article, very useful information.
    I already bank with HSBC, so applied to them the week it was announced.
    Approved last Sunday 10th of May, and here we are, Saturday 16 May, and still no sign of the funds.
    Reading various articles in the press, Barclays seem to be getting a slating for delays in putting the funds into approved accounts, but HSBC seem to want to compete on slackness and inefficiency.
    Typical of bank staff, never run a company themselves, don’t understand finance, and couldn’t care less about customers.

    • Faith
      18th May 2020 / 10:33 am

      Hi Terry –
      Sorry to hear your funds haven’t arrived yet. Seems as if the banks have been overwhelmed by demand. The Bounce Back Loans were launched within such a short time frame I’m not surprised there are problems, but do appreciate the frustration when waiting for the money!

  22. Katen
    16th May 2020 / 6:25 pm

    I applied for a feeder account with HSBC so I could then apply for a bounce back loan on the 7th May…………………… still waiting!!!

    • Faith
      18th May 2020 / 10:33 am

      You and me both! Will update the post when I hear back, hope you do soon.

      • steve
        23rd May 2020 / 5:44 am

        23rd may and I am also in the same boat as you. Applied for the feeder account from HSBC on the 6th May, several phone calls later I am still waiting to be contacted. Shocking service from a National bank.

  23. jade marie hickson
    16th May 2020 / 8:08 pm

    Hi, I applied for the loan and got the money in my bank yesterday, I didn’t know what my entitlement was until now. If I pay the loan off or cancel the loan in 14 days can I reapply for the loan again for a higher amount? Thanks.

    • Faith
      18th May 2020 / 10:38 am

      Hi Jade Marie,

      Sorry to hear you need more than your original application. Worth checking with your lender, but I suspect you can’t just pay your loan back or cancel it before applying again.

      In the common questions about the Bounce Back Loan from RBS, for example, it says:
      “Can I increase the amount that I’ve requested through a Bounce Back Loan, after I’ve applied?
      No, you’ll only be able to apply for one loan through the Bounce Back scheme, and you won’t be able to adjust this once you’ve been approved. Carefully consider what funds you’ll need before applying.”


      The rules are pretty tight trying to stop people applying for more than one loan for the same business, and suspect this would apply even if you’re repaid the first one.

  24. Mr D Smyth
    17th May 2020 / 12:29 pm

    I have very complicated situation and i was wondering if you can give me advise
    in 2019 a bank put marker against my name over a fraud i had reported to them which back fired on me.
    Since then i had been pushed out of high street banks and i am using a useless online business account which does not participate in taking part of the bounce back loan scheme.

    I run two successful businesses (as limited company) which both were severely impacted upon by the corona-virus lock-down. I am ever so desperate for the bounce back loan however i know any bank i apply for will reject me due to the marker. Right now i have no idea what to do to overcome this obstetrical. I have applied for HSBC footer bank account and i am wondering if HSBC may also decide to reject me for this account.
    Do you know if HSBC carried out credit checks on Footer accounts ? Otherwise do you know what route do i know to follow please?

    • Faith
      20th May 2020 / 1:42 pm

      Hi Mr Smyth,

      First place to try is the bank where you already have your business account. More banks now offer Bounce Back Loans than when first launched, including Tide.

      You can check the current list here:

      If you have to open a new account, I would normally expect the bank to run a credit check, as part of the ‘Know Your Customer’ and ID verification checks.

      I asked HSBC if they carry out credit checks before opening feeder accounts and was told yes, but:
      “However adverse credit does not stop someone from applying for a bounce back loan since it is guaranteed by the Government and therefore we have authority to override decisions were in normal circumstances an application would be rejected based on credit history.”

      Good luck with your application!

  25. Nicky
    17th May 2020 / 1:25 pm

    I have applied for a BB loan but realise I have given a figure of turnover which is about £400o less than it actually is.Can I go back an amend this?

    • Faith
      18th May 2020 / 10:40 am

      Hi Nicky,

      Worth checking with your specific lender, but as above, fear you can’t change the amount you wish to borrow.

      In the common questions about the Bounce Back Loan from RBS, for example, it says:
      “Can I increase the amount that I’ve requested through a Bounce Back Loan, after I’ve applied?
      No, you’ll only be able to apply for one loan through the Bounce Back scheme, and you won’t be able to adjust this once you’ve been approved. Carefully consider what funds you’ll need before applying.”


  26. Omiv
    17th May 2020 / 8:51 pm

    Very good write up!
    I’m not going for a loan, but my concern is that the economy will be worse off as I can see people abusing the system.

    For example, what stops a director apply for the loan, take out drawings each month for wages, then close the company? Without personal guarantees, people will use this loophole and put the economy under more strain.

    • Faith
      20th May 2020 / 1:45 pm

      Hi Omiv,

      Share your concern that in making these loans easier and quicker to apply for, there is an increased risk of people failing to repay.
      Will have to wait and see how much the Government ends up guaranteeing, for businesses that don’t keep up their repayments.

  27. Graham
    17th May 2020 / 11:11 pm

    Follow up to my rejection by Starling bank for a Bounce Back Loan. They have now rejected over 2000 applications. My problem is not the rejection, it is the refusal to give a reason for the rejection which bothers me so I have contacted Anne Boden the CEO by email for a response. I do not believe it is too much to ask, especially as we need to know this information in order to know how to proceed from here.
    Your views would be useful

    • Matthew
      17th May 2020 / 11:40 pm

      Starling have a very bizarre risk threshold for even accepting entrepreneurs… if you have set up and few businesses and closed a few they reject you… my reading of BBL is they the banks don’t need to verify and should be accepting all based on Self Cert by the business… i am not shocked at all that Starling are declining so many, similar to Funding Circle and CBILS absolute shit show so far…

      If you have been rejected for BBL you need to really go to town on appeal, and get an answer… if you are a LTD company you should be accepted straight off the bat, as it has nothing to do with the Directors personal credit etc.

  28. Zoe
    18th May 2020 / 1:13 am

    Thank you so much for a great article.

    I have a business account with Barclays and the application process was very straightforward via online banking. It was approved immediately and money was paid in 48 hours. They kept texting to keep me updated till the funds where paid out. Was rather impressed!

    I also have a Sole Trader business and opened an account with Starling for the purpose of the BBLS and my application was declined for no reason. Starling Bank is ridiculous and a sham!!

    • Faith
      18th May 2020 / 11:14 am

      Hi Zoe –

      Brilliant that you’ve had such a good experience with Barclays.

      I suspect the issue with Starling for your sole trader business may be the rules aimed at preventing individuals taking out more than one Bounce Back Loan. Starling does say that to be eligible, you must: “Not have applied or been accepted for a Bounce Back Loan from another provider. You could be subject to legal proceedings if found to have more than one Bounce Back Loan for your business”


      Appreciate this must be frustrating if you have two completely separate businesses in different areas.

  29. 18th May 2020 / 7:42 am

    Hi, great threads and info on here,
    Here’s my dilemma, I applied on the first day but had no business or current accounts with any of them, quite disappointing but, I applied for a Santander current account which all went through and I applied for a BBL. Got a couple of emails after send my Tax stuff etc. THEN, other banks cam about so I applied to Starling where my business account, they couldn’t help. Really confused. Is it because id applied with Santander? I’m still waiting. If you apply with other banks will it get confused as they will turn down due to applying to more than one. I’m starting to get desperate.
    Thanks in advance

    • Faith
      18th May 2020 / 10:59 am

      Hi Dave –

      The rules for Bounce Back Loans say you can only for one loan for one business. Worth following up with Santander about your application, but should avoid applying elsewhere.

      Eligibility criteria with Santander include:

      “You haven’t already applied for or received a BBL
      You have only one Bounce Back Loan per business under common ownership or control (group)”


      I’ve also seen references that people could be subject to legal proceedings if found to have more than one Bounce Back Loan for their business, for example in the Starling conditions:

  30. Ronnie Armstrong
    18th May 2020 / 2:16 pm

    I applied to HSBC on 4th May (midday) – I have heard ZERO – even my own HSBC Relationship Manager is unable to help, although she has emailed and called me to see how the application is going.
    I have called the HSBC Covid 19 helpline and even they cannot help, they can tell me nothing other than simply wait.
    No acknowledgment, no update – ZERO.

    • ANON
      18th May 2020 / 6:27 pm

      I also need desparate help and advise – I run a hair dressing business and have been unable to access any finantial help. The business grant is still under investigation and has not been released – not a yes and not a no – I have a CIFAs marker on my name for fraud where I was duped into using my account for a transaction 5 yrs ago – it was not investigated and I was not convicted. Consequently I am unable to open a business account to access the Bounce Back Loan – I am also aware that this may also be reected – I suspect that is the cause of the hold up with the grant – if refused I will appeal as I have no income and have not had since March – I have heard about the feeder account and see the form – how do you sign and submit? I hear there are long delays hearing back. Is it right you cannot apply with multiple lenders until you have been rejected from one?
      I did consider opening a business account with TIDE (to access the loan) but again don’t know if we will be accepted.
      Unable to claim Universal Credit as already getting working taxcredits – some have been left worse off – desparate – any help or advice would be appreciated. I have worked hard to build up my business.

    • Princess
      20th May 2020 / 4:10 pm

      Same situation for me too. Applied on the 5th heard nothing I have now reapplied on the 16th absolutely nothing it was Escalated 3 times last week and was promised a phone call back and heard nothing it’s frustrating and brining me too tears i can’t supply my services to Manchester airport due to Covid. Hsbc need to really get on top of this I have seen so many post of people reapplying as am typing am holding on the phone for over 30 mins

  31. Mark
    18th May 2020 / 7:12 pm

    Hi a very interesting read, i applied for a bounce back loan last Thursday with NatWest
    (now Monday) I had a few adobe sign loan agreements to sign headlined from the bank and and then a text from the bank saying thanks for applying etc i have progressed to the next stage and that i should now fill in more info on a email i should receive…….i never got that email or any other correspondence so don’t know wether i’m going to receive the payment in bank or I’ve not actually got the loan coming????

    • Faith
      19th May 2020 / 8:50 am

      Hi Mark –
      Must be frustrating waiting for the email. Grasping at straws here, but have you checked your email spam folder, in case a NatWest email went astray? Otherwise worth contacting NatWest in a day or so. Good luck!

  32. Sarah prosser
    19th May 2020 / 8:40 am

    I hold a business account with Natwest and have been trying to access the bounce back loan for 10 days. Everytime I apply it states that I’m in an undischarged bankruptcy, I was discharged from bankruptcy in August 2019. I have sent natwest my discharge letter and credit report but I still get the same answer. I have literally spent 2 hours on the phone a day with poor customer service. My friend applied with barclays with the same circumstances and they have paid put her loan but natwest are still telling me no. Due to the poor credit history I’m struggling getting a business account with another bank. The business is doing well, always made profit with sales at 62k for 2019.

    • Faith
      19th May 2020 / 8:52 am

      Hi Sarah,

      Must be enormously frustrating given you have been discharged from bankruptcy. All I can suggest is continuing to pursue the issue with NatWest, keep a diary of any contact and put the problems in writing so you have copies and can show when sent. Good luck with your business.

  33. 19th May 2020 / 8:54 am

    I was a sole trader banking with Nationwide, but set up and transferred the business to a limited company in order to open an account with Starling (to get around them not opening new sole trader accounts). The limited company was set up after the 1st March deadline, so I am worried that although the ‘business’ was trading before the deadline, my application for a BBL will be declined because of the change in entity after the cut-off. What are your views?

    • Faith
      19th May 2020 / 10:11 am

      Hi Fraser –
      Reckon it’s definitely worth applying. You will need to show that your business did indeed exist as a sole trader before 1 March (for example, by submitting a copy of your 18 / 19 tax return when requested) and that your new limited company is basically the same business as when you were a sole trader.
      Also, hope you have checked out the implications of becoming a limited company more generally, for example the requirements about filing accounts, paying corporation tax and so on? Good luck!

      • 19th May 2020 / 12:47 pm

        Thanks for the advice Faith – I have asked Tide whether I should apply in my existing sole trader account or the new Ltd account. Will let you know what they say.

        • Faith
          19th May 2020 / 1:39 pm

          Got to be worth asking. Tide have now started offering Bounce Back Loans (didn’t right at the start) and you’ve obviously been a business account customer with them for longer than with Starling.

  34. Simon
    19th May 2020 / 9:01 am

    I applied for the loan from Starling and I’ve been refused! The amount I applied for was less than the 25% turnover figure. What can I do now? Can I apply for a smaller sum? Or can I approach another bank? I’m a sole trader and I’ve been trading since 2006. I feel a little lost.

    • Faith
      19th May 2020 / 10:20 am

      Hi Simon –
      Sorry that you’ve been turned down for a Bounce Back Loan from Starling. Not sure applying for a smaller amount from Starling would make a difference, but worth applying elsewhere if you are confident you can repay the loan.

      The British Business Bank does explicitly say:
      ” If one lender turns you down, you can still approach other lenders within the scheme”

      If you have a business bank account with another bank offering Bounce Back Loans, worth trying there.

      If, as a sole trader, you used a personal current account, check out my post about which banks might let you apply. Will depend on whether you’re willing to open a business account now, or just a feeder account. But either way, brace yourself for a longer process due to the ‘know your customer’ and money laundering checks involved when opening accounts. Good luck!

      • Simon
        19th May 2020 / 3:55 pm

        Hi Faith

        Thank you for your reply. I also have a business bank account with Santander – but their eligibility criteria states that you must not have applied with another bank for the BBL. So I’m not sure where I stand with it. I have no problem paying back the loan and only want to borrow a relatively small amount (£6K), which is below the 25% turnover threshold. I thought, with it being a government-backed loan, there would be no barriers to lending?

        Thanks again for your reply.

        Best wishes


        • Faith
          19th May 2020 / 4:30 pm

          Hi Simon –

          I can see that the Santander eligibility criteria say: “You haven’t already applied for or received a BBL”
          Link: ‘

          I suspect this is more to do with making sure people don’t get more than one Bounce Back Loan for the same business. As your application with Starling was refused, there’s no danger of ending up with two if you now apply to Santander.

          Reckon it’s worth a try, but hang on to any emails or paperwork showing your Starling application was refused, in case you need to show them to Santander.

  35. Jonathan
    19th May 2020 / 12:06 pm

    On a couple of points: (i) I am not sure why such a high proportion of Applications for BBL are being rejected. Surely most busineses negatively affected by Covid 19 are eligible? And one just needs to “self certify” and the government guarantees the loans – so what is the risk to the banks? Or am I missing something? And (ii) on the issue of more than one BBL, surely it is the business that is borrowing, not the individual. I agree one cannot have multiple loans for the same company, but if one is a shareholder in a few compnaies, why cannot all of those companies (if they qualify) get BBL? This whole process should be simple, but banks and funders are making it overly complicated- as usual!

  36. Chris
    19th May 2020 / 12:43 pm

    Hi, thank you for this article. We have applied and received a bounce back loan with Santander for our parent company.

    We have also applied to starling bank for the bounce back loan for a separate company which the parent company own the shares in.

    Will they reject this as we have applied for 2 bounce back loans within the same group of companies because the parent company own the shares?

    • Faith
      19th May 2020 / 2:02 pm

      Hi Chris,
      I’m hazy on this, but it doesn’t look good if your parent company owns all the shares in your other company.
      Rules say a business “and any wider group of which is it part”can’t have more than one Bounce Back Loan.
      See the ‘Am I eligible?’ section on the British Business Bank website:
      Further down in the same FAQ, you can read definitions of ‘sole’ and ‘linked’ enterprises, discussing the % of voting rights and capital held.

      • Jonathan
        20th May 2020 / 8:18 am

        Having looked into this, if you (or a group) own shares in more than one company, and each appies for a BBL, then each company is entitled to a BBL IF each of the businesses are not operating in the “same or adjacent sectors”. This is the definition by Santander and I imagine all banks must/should have a standard approach?

        • Tracie
          23rd May 2020 / 1:08 pm

          I have been turned down by Santander as I only have a personal account – which I’ve held for over 30yrs.
          No explanation didn’t ask me for any details just blank refused. I run my business through Counting Up online bank but they don’t run the BBL
          I’ve applied for and accepted for a Tide account as a limited company.
          My question is how will Tide expect me to prove my turnover? I have been in business for just 1 year and not submitted my first accounts yet

  37. David Pozniak
    19th May 2020 / 12:46 pm


    I called HSBC to open a feeder bank account to apply for BBL for my new business that i opened in Feb. they said it might take 5 working days before they contact me that they are ready to go ahead further with the opening of my account so i can make an application online, but 8 days have passed and nothing from them. I called them to find out what’s happening, and they said that they cannot access any information about my details and that there is no direct line for the dep that deals with feeder accounts, and asked me to be more patient. What should i do? I currently have business account opened with Tide and they don’t do BBL at present.

    • Faith
      19th May 2020 / 1:46 pm

      Hi David – the good news is that Tide do now offer Bounce Back Loans, although they didn’t right at the start:
      Worth talking to Tide, especially as your business is so new you won’t have it on your 18/19 tax return or even have full year 2019 accounts.
      Criteria do state that people cannot apply for more than once Bounce Back Loan for the same business, but sounds like you have only got as far as asking HSBC for a feeder account, and haven’t done the HSBC loan application yet.
      Good luck!

      • Jonathan
        20th May 2020 / 8:15 am

        I woud be very sceptical of Tide Having waited ages for them to be approved, there is now no online application process. If you have an account, you get on their “waiting” list and then they contact you IF you qualify. With the caveat that they only have a limited amount of funding and it is likely to run out! In my opinion oa real “dogs dinner” when they should be at the forefront of distributing money to SME customes.

  38. Martin
    19th May 2020 / 3:47 pm

    Hi, great article.

    Have a question maybe you know the answer.
    I have Revolut Business account, and applied for HSBC feeder account on 17th May. Do they need self-assessment from me? As I don’t have one yet.
    My limited company has 14 months.

    Thanks a lot!

    • Faith
      19th May 2020 / 4:57 pm

      Hi Martin –

      I reckon you should be OK even if you don’t have a self-assessment tax return for 18/19.

      The eligibility criteria for Bounce Back Loans say that your business should have been in operation on 1 March 2020, and your limited company has been trading longer than that.

      The HSBC FAQs about Customer Eligibility also talk about looking at turnover for the calendar year 2019 (1 January – 31 December), or estimated turnover for businesses established after 1 January 2019.

      Just brace yourself for a longer wait if you can’t provide an 18/19 tax return and are asked for other paperwork instead.

      Good luck!

  39. Phil
    20th May 2020 / 9:32 am

    Do you have a link to the HSBC terms that say FD account holders can apply through the HSBC portal? The lady on the phone said I couldn’t but it would save time opening a feeder account.

    • Faith
      20th May 2020 / 1:17 pm

      Hi Phil –

      It’s on this page:

      Scroll down to under the section “You can apply for a loan if your business” and click on ‘Next Steps’, where it says:

      “To apply for a Bounce Back Loan click here

      Please ensure you have read the information on this page, which covers key product information and frequently asked questions.

      You can apply quickly through our online portal if:
      You either:
      – Already have a Business, Charity or Community Account with HSBC UK, or
      – You are operating as a Sole Trader and you have an existing HSBC UK or First Direct current account and your business started on or before 5th April 2019”

      There’s some small print about making sure for example that your email address and phone number on the Bounce Back Loan application match those on your bank account, and updating them if not.

      Good luck!

  40. 20th May 2020 / 8:27 pm

    Hello, really enjoyed reading this article and following thread. I’m a sole director of a small business currently banking with natwest. They refused my bounce back application, the reason they gave is a undischarged bankruptcy order against me!! That really isn’t true, natwest did say they had technical issues and to apply again. I then submitted a second application only to be refused again because of information they have on me!, whatever that means??. My case has been escalated but I still have no further feed back from them,the saga continues.

    What I would like to now is how my companies credit score is viewed regarding the bounce back loan. My 18-19 accounts showed a drop on my balance sheet, would that show as a risk to any lender? Any information would be much appreciated.

    • Faith
      21st May 2020 / 12:58 pm

      Hi Stephen – Would you be happy for me to forward your query to the NatWest press office for response?
      My understanding is that partly because Bounce Back Loans are backed by the government, banks do not have to pursue the same checks that slowed down provision of Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, but can rely on business owners to self-certify that for example their business is not in trouble and can afford to repay the borrowing.

  41. Lian Munday
    21st May 2020 / 10:08 am

    I applied for a bounce back loan through Starling Bank, I already have a business account with them. The application and documentation was signed within 3 days and the money was in my account on the 4th day. Having moved from RBS to Starling in February this year, the free banking combined with the speed and efficiency is brilliant. I also love the fact that I can pay in cheques via the app by taking a photo of the actual cheque. So far, best bankninhave ever worked with.

    • Faith
      21st May 2020 / 10:46 am

      Hi Lian –
      Brilliant that you’ve had such a good experience with Starling. Many Starling customers have had their Bounce Back Loans paid out super fast, which potentially makes if even more frustrating for those whose applications have been rejected.

  42. Chris Attwood
    21st May 2020 / 11:07 am

    My wife and I became self employed taxi drivers less then a year ago, we opened a joint account with HSBC to use for our income.
    We applied for the bounce back loan over 2 weeks ago and have still not heard anything. We don’t get any help except for universal credits now and that is about £1000 per month for a family of 4.
    There is no work out there and we are going under very quickly.
    Hopefully HSBC will keep us afloat before we end up in irreversible trouble.

    • Faith
      21st May 2020 / 12:54 pm

      Hi Chris,

      So sorry you and your wife are in such a difficult situation. I do hope you hear back from HSBC soon. Is your HSBC account a business account or an ordinary personal current account?

    • Faith
      21st May 2020 / 12:54 pm

      Hi Chris,

      So sorry you and your wife are in such a difficult situation. I do hope you hear back from HSBC soon. Is your HSBC account a business account or an ordinary personal current account?

  43. Pete Eastwood
    21st May 2020 / 11:26 am

    Re: Starling Bank BB Loans,

    They have decided to implement a requirement that any new businesses that started Before March 2020 must have their 19/20 tax return filed and tax calculation received from HMRC, despite acknowledging that it probably isn’t due until 2021.

    This means that small businesses needing a bounce back loan to help cash flow have to submit a tax return now (usually requiring help of a paid advisor) and wait for this to happen, the wait on HMRC, even before Starling are willing to say whether the loan will be approved. So, typically spending £250+ during a cash flow crisis, when legally it’s not due yet, eventually to find if you will even qualify.

    This requirement it is stated to be simply to help validate you are a business, and is nothing to do with the approval process otherwise. I am unaware the other banks are asking for this additional requirement. HSBC haven’t asked for any such evidence. As a result I had had ago apply through HSBC and wait while they deal with the huge demand, rather than via my bank Starling – with their faster process, who can see my business account, turnover and that I am trading as a business and paying business bills etc.

    • Faith
      21st May 2020 / 12:36 pm

      Hi Peter – I’m surprised by that requirement too. Have emailed you. Would be great to get some further details. Many thanks, Faith

  44. Farhat
    21st May 2020 / 2:19 pm

    Hi I’m just after some help plz. My husband is self employed taxi driver and has not been working for last few months due to covid 19 lockdown, secondly even if he did go back to work there not much work and why he did make would just about cover rent, is he as registered self employed worker entitled to claiming bounce back loan he has a personal account with HSBC and if he is eligible how would he go about it. Also I would like to ask could he use this money for daily outgoings as he would normally use his earnings to do this.

  45. Jon
    21st May 2020 / 2:49 pm


    HSBC are poor at letting customers know what is going on. I am reading articles like this because I was starting to feel like I was the only one!
    I applied for the BBLS and on May 13th I received an email with a loan agreement to sign which I did and sent back. Also bear in mind I had previously applied for CBILS which was approved but I cancelled it to go for BBLS instead. May 15th no funds. I called them and was told someone would call by Monday 18th. No call. Wednesday 20th, called again. Was told someone would call but did not know when. Still no funds. I had also made a complaint, they apologised and sent me £100. Just complained again but doubt I will receive another £100! I just said that I need to know all is good and payment is pending. STRESS!

  46. mohamed sadik
    21st May 2020 / 4:06 pm

    Hello, great information and thank you.
    I trade since 2017 fashion retail shop as limited company.
    I bank with cop-op (personal ) cashplus for Buisness.
    I wanted to apply BBL and put a new application for business account on Natwat (4th May) and it was said in progress till yesterday and today I got an email saying they have too many applications and mine will not be processed ? And it cancelled . They said they hoping to Accept new new applications in the future . I thought I was a new applicant ! Not sure ..What I should do now ..

  47. 21st May 2020 / 6:07 pm

    Interesting to hear comments about HSBC. We applied Thursday 7th (two weeks ago today) with all the right qualification requirements and still nothing. No confirmation of progress, just nothing. The frustration is we had choices including Santander and AIB… fast cash reliefs this is not (at least for us!).

  48. 22nd May 2020 / 8:10 am

    I applied for a bounce back loan through natwest
    I signed the agreement and waiting a week
    Then they sent my me details that nil will be going into my account. I can only think that my business nene
    Could be the problem
    I use a different name under a LTD company
    Though Tide business but kept my account with NatWest
    with a difffent business name

  49. 22nd May 2020 / 8:21 am

    I applied for an HSBC bounceback on 7th May, received a notification on 11th May to expect docs, but nothing since. Guy on the phone knew about as much as I did, but said that if I missed the docs (I didn’t) then they couldn’t be re-issued and a new application would have to be made. I don’t mind waiting, but what I don’t want to do is wait then find that my application has been lost somewhere.

  50. 22nd May 2020 / 10:29 am

    Hi All,

    Just to share my experience with application for BBL with HSBC.

    Applied on May 19th late afternoon,
    Received DD and docs. to sing the next day.
    Money (£50K) arrived on our business current on May 21st late afternoon.

    2 days turnaround !

    I shall add that we bank with HSBC UK for 17yrs turning circa £800-1000k and have very healthy balance sheet.

    I must say this is the best of HSBC I have experienced ever!

  51. Susan
    22nd May 2020 / 10:45 am

    Good article and it made me feel a lot better as many sole traders may feel so alone in all this. HSBC didn’t recognise my FD application when the BBL first launched, so I gave up until a fellow FD customer told me she had successfully applied 2 weeks ago and still waiting for a response. My application was submitted on the 15th. No news yet. Is there a pecking order I wonder? Are FD customers lower priority than business account holders and are small amounts such as under £5k being treated with lower priority than the £50k’s?

  52. Leo
    22nd May 2020 / 1:33 pm

    Will nationwide do bounce back loans ?

  53. Matas
    22nd May 2020 / 4:05 pm

    Applied for a bounce back loan with HSBC with two companies. Got an offer letter, signed one on the 10th May another on the 15th May. And money still hasn’t cleared our accounts. Sent 10 complains and in return generic answer wither we will get back with answers or sit and wait. Called business line three times three days in a row. They said they have escalated and should get answers in two days and again. No moneys in bank account or any answers. HSBC put both companies in jeopardy as we have taken work to continue operations. Now due to the lack of capital late with work and receiving liquidated damages. Total disaster from help into a most difficult situation you can get yourself in. Thinking of passing these charges to HSBC as they have agreed to loan and no Moneys in account after signing a legally binding document, where as a company once it is signed, there is now way back. What about the bank?

  54. Tracie
    23rd May 2020 / 1:29 pm

    This article is brilliant. Thank you.
    I have been turned down by Santander as I only have a personal account – which I’ve held for over 30yrs.
    No explanation didn’t ask me for any details just blank refusal.
    I run my business through Counting Up online bank but they don’t run the BBL
    I’ve applied for and accepted for a Tide account as a limited company.
    My question is how will Tide expect me to prove my turnover? I have been in business for just 1 year and not submitted my first accounts yet

  55. Emeka Eze
    23rd May 2020 / 10:12 pm

    I am a director of a company and have sole trader business. Can I make two Bounce Back Loan applications one for the company and one for my sole trader business?

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