What is Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)?
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (“CBILS“) is open for applications to provide small businesses with a loan of up to £5m to assist with the Covid-19 outbreak. The Scheme is aimed at businesses who are experiencing lost or deferred revenues, and who otherwise would be denied support from lenders, to be supported by a Government backed guarantee. The Scheme will initially run for six months with the possibility to be extended where required, so businesses should only approach a lender under the Scheme as and when they require assistance.
At the discretion of the lender, the Scheme may be used for unsecured lending for facilities of £250,000 and under.
Lenders were required to demonstrate lending additionality (i.e. lending that without the Scheme, wouldn’t have otherwise taken place). The Scheme has been extended to those businesses who would have previously met requirements for a commercial facility and would not have been eligible for CBILS. As a result it is suggested that all viable small businesses affected by Covid-19, and not just those unable to secure regular commercial financing, will now be eligible should they need finance to keep operating.
Primary Residential Property cannot be taken as Security under the Scheme. If the lender can offer finance on normal commercial terms without the need to make use of the Scheme, they will do so.
The golden thread requirements will be retrospective, so will apply to existing buildings as well as new build. This is part of the reason for the Building Safety Regulator’s ‘get to know your building’ guidance referred to in the talk, with the link in the Powerpoint presentation. While the details of the golden thread requirement are still to be confirmed, now is a good time to start to gather as much information as can be obtained about existing buildings as possible in preparation. The Government guidance anticipates that the Principal Accountable Person will be responsible for developing and coordinating the golden thread for existing buildings.
- Yes, if contributions to a defined contribution (“DC”) scheme exceed statutory minimum for auto-enrolment purposes, it may be possible to reduce employer contributions to the statutory minimum, but not further.
- However, the processes required for reduction of DC employer contributions will necessitate obtaining legal advice:
- Reducing employer contributions may require changes to the employment contracts of affected staff (as does the furlough process).
- Reducing employer contributions may also require negotiation with trade unions or other staff representative forums.
- Where group personal pensions are used, the contractual format may not permit changes of employer contributions, and hence it may also be necessary to enter into a new contractual arrangement. Choosing a new group personal pension plan is a not insignificant task in itself.
- Employers with at least 50 employees are required to conduct a 60-day consultation process with affected employees if they propose to reduce employer contributions (but please see below).
- Finally, it may require a change to the scheme rules and engagement with the scheme trustees if the scheme is operated under trust.
- For DB schemes, specific considerations apply (see the last section, below).
- Start critical care treatment with a clear plan of how the treatment will address the diagnosis and lead to agreed outcomes.
- Review critical care treatment regularly and when the patient’s clinical condition changes.
- Stop critical care treatment when it is no longer considered able to achieve the desired outcomes. Record the decision and the discussion with family, carers and the patient (if possible).
With the exception of the Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility (see below), there was initially little dedicated financial assistance for medium-sized and larger businesses affected by the coronavirus outbreak (the so-called “stranded middle”); however, from 20 April 2020 such businesses (with a turnover above £45 million) have been able to access finance via the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (“CLBILS“).
CLBILS operates in a similar manner to CBILS except that a lender can provide:
- up to £25 million to businesses with turnover from £45 million up to £250 million; and
- up to £50 million to businesses for those with a turnover of over £250 million.
Finance is available in the form of:
- term loans
- revolving credit facilities (including overdrafts)
- invoice finance and
- asset finance,
in each case available on repayment terms of up to three years.
Several changes to CLBILS took effect from 26 May 2020. The maximum amount available through CLBILS to a borrower and its group increased from £50m to £200m. Term loans and revolving credit facilities over £50m will be offered by CLBILS lenders which have secured additional accreditation. The maximum size for invoice finance and asset finance facilities remains at £50m. Companies borrowing more than £50m through CLBILS will be subject to further restrictions on dividend payments, senior pay and share buy-backs during the period of the loan. Further information on the most recent changes, including new provisions on seniority of CLBILS facilities, can be found on the CLBILS page on the British Business Bank website. There is also an in-depth FAQs section for businesses, which has the full details of the changes to the scheme.
Unlike CBILS, the UK government will not make payments to cover the interest and any lender-levied fees in the first 12 months of any facility so these larger businesses will not benefit from the no upfront costs and lower initial repayments that smaller businesses eligible for CBILS benefit from. The other key provisions of CLBILS, such as the eligibility criteria, the 80% government-backed guarantee and security, are similar to those of CBILS.
Eligibility is similar to CBILS and businesses must:
- Be UK-based in its business activity
- Have an annual turnover of more than £45 million
- Have a borrowing proposal which the lender would consider viable, were it not for the current pandemic, and for which the lender believes the provision of finance will enable the business to trade out of any short-term to medium-term difficulty
- Self-certify that it has been adversely impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Not have received a facility under the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility.
Businesses from any sector can apply, except the following:
- Credit institutions (falling within the remit of the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive), insurers and reinsurers (but not insurance brokers)
- Building Societies
- Public-sector bodies
- Further-education establishments, if they are grant-funded
- State-funded primary and secondary schools
All lending decisions remain fully delegated to the accredited lenders.