Posted April 24, 2020

COVID-19: Troubles Navigating the CBILS Application Process?


A number have weeks have passed since Rishi Sunak stood in front of the nation and outlined the government’s plans to support the majority of the UK’s SME’s during the COVID-19 pandemic.

During this time, it has become evident that many businesses are experiencing a number of issues with the application process and struggle to navigate through the 40+ different lenders that are providing the funding.

If you have struggled to gain access to the scheme or have not received the results you want from your usual bank, do not worry. Let us take the stress out of these difficult times and apply through us. We will review your application, source the market for a suitable lender for your business and identify the best step forward together.

What is the CBILS?

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. As part of a wider package of government support for UK businesses and employees, the scheme is designed for businesses that were performing well prior to the pandemic and would have otherwise been a sound borrowing proposition.

How does it work?

The CBILS is very similar to the EFG. It has recently been significantly expanded along with changes to the scheme’s features and eligibility criteria. These changes mean that smaller businesses across the UK impacted by COVID-19 can gain access to the funding they need.

Businesses must still display a good borrowing proposition, but security obligations can be relaxed, as insufficient security is no longer a condition to access the scheme. These changes have meant that many businesses across the country are eligible for the scheme.

CBILS is operated via over 40 accredited lenders who are currently working to provide finance.

They include:

  • High-street banks
  • Challenger banks
  • Asset-based lenders
  • Smaller, specialist local lenders

Lenders can provide up to £5million in the form of:

  • Term loans
  • Overdrafts
  • Invoice finance
  • Asset finance

The scheme provides lenders with a government-backed guarantee against 80% of the lending, should the customer default, reducing the lenders’ exposure to 20%. The borrower, however, remains fully liable for the debt.

Problems navigating the CBILS process

To add some context as to why SME’s require the much-needed help and guidance with the CBILS process, the latest figures make for some grim reading. 6,020 firms have borrowed a grand total of just £1.1bn in the three weeks the scheme has been open.

In addition, there is a massive gap between the number of inquiries for CBILS, estimated at over 300,000, and the 28,461 actual applications that have reached the lenders.

Finance 4 Business

Finance 4 Business (F4B) has created an end-to-end service to manage a client’s CBILS application from inception to completion. This has now been tried and tested and we are delighted to be able to extend this out to the wider SME market.

Your application will be managed carefully, with our advisers helping to shape the application and bring together the evidence that you need to ensure eligibility and appropriate use of the scheme. Our internal processes will ensure that your application is in the best condition for the lenders to evaluate; presented to contacts we know well in a language they understand. This gives your application the highest chance of success.

With over 250 years of combined Banking Experience, you are in safe hands. Start your application with Finance 4 Business and let us place you with the correct lender to achieve the best solution. Call 0121 309 0444 or email us at to find out more.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is correct as of the date of publishing, 24th April 2020.