Responding to new Treasury figures which show that 69,000 bounce back facilities worth over £2 billion were approved during the first 24 hours of the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chairman Mike Cherry said:
“The BBLS has come out of the blocks strong – enabling £2 billion of small business lending in its first day, a sum that took its predecessor loan scheme weeks to achieve.
“Given the nature of this initiative, and the sheer volume of day one applicants, it was always going to be led by the big four in its early phase.
“From here though, it’s important that efforts to increase competition in the small business banking market are maintained. More banks and alternative lenders need to be accredited to the BBLS. The Treasury, British Business Bank and Bank of England should work together on how this can be best achieved.
“Unfortunately, we are hearing reports that bounce back application forms are hard to access or enquiries are simply being acknowledged with a “we’ll call you” message and nothing further.
“Many of the most vulnerable business owners – particularly sole traders – only have personal banks accounts and, as a result, are being told that they can’t access a bounce back loan. It’s vital that they are helped to secure the finance on which many will depend to make it through this incredibly challenging time.“All in all it’s a very promising start, but there’s still work to do.”