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OakNorth Bank is committed to supporting businesses as they work through the financial challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This British Business Bank-backed scheme is designed to support UK based small and medium-sized businesses that have a turnover of up to £45m and that can demonstrate they were viable before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Further information can also be found on the British Business Bank website.

British Business Bank logo

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme is managed by the British Business Bank on behalf of, and with the financial backing of, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Key Features

Loans from £500,000 to £5m
You can apply for a loan between £500,000 and £5m

Flexible terms available
Spread repayments of your loan from 1 to 6 years

Interest free period
In order to support client cash flow issues, the arrangement fees and the first 12 months interest will be paid by the UK government as a “Business Interruption Payment”

Eligibility Criteria:

The eligibility criteria specified by the British Business Bank states that this scheme is open to businesses

  • Are a UK based business impacted by the COVID-19
  • Have a borrowing proposal which, were it not for the COVID-19 pandemic, would be considered viable and for
    which the provision of finance will enable trading out of any short-to-medium term difficulty
  • Have a group turnover of no more than £45m

Other details:

  • The British Business Bank guarantees 80% of the CBILS facility
  • As a business, you will be responsible for repayment of 100% of the facility, not just the 20% that falls
    outside of the coverage of the British Business Bank’s guarantee.
  • Security will be requested, and personal guarantee may be requested.
  • Please note that individual lenders may also have their own additional criteria for eligibility.  At OakNorth Bank, the minimum sum we accept for CBILS loan applications is £500,000 which is in line with the loan size we do with our normal commercial loans.

What happens if I default?

Where defaults occur, we follow our standard commercial recovery procedures, including the realisation of security, before we make a claim against the government’s 80% guarantee.

Are all sectors eligible?

Whilst loans are available to most sectors, some restrictions apply

Why isn’t OakNorth Bank offering loans of less than £500,000?

We have never offered asset finance, invoice finance, or overdrafts. Instead, we have focused on offering term loans which start at £500,000. In order to best support businesses through this challenging period and ensure we’re able to conduct the correct level of credit analysis, we are focusing on the loan size we do with normal commercial loans.

My business was under pressure before the COVID-19 crisis – am I still eligible for CBILS?

You can still be considered for a loan under the scheme, though these are subject to business viability and you must meet the full eligibility criteria to be approved.

What security do I need to provide?

A debenture giving legal charge over all the assets of the business.

Can I refinance a loan into CBILS?

Possibly – under very specific circumstances. Please get in touch with our team so we can discuss it directly with you.

What kind of interest rates will businesses need to pay?

If your business is eligible for a ‘Business Interruption Payment’, then the UK Government will cover the first 12 months interest applicable to your loan together with certain fees, including the arrangement fee. The ‘Business Interruption Payment’ is provided by the UK Government to support eligible customers to help businesses manage in these challenging circumstances. After the initial 12 months, the interest rate on your loan that has been agreed and communicated to you at the outset will start to apply.

What do I do if my CBILS application is unsuccessful?

There are several government support measures for businesses such as grants which you may be eligible for. Further information on these initiatives is available on

You may also be able to get a loan from another accredited lender on the scheme (full list here) or from a non-bank lender. You can compare options here.

Application Form