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What is the position if my turnover is more than £45 million?

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.