Originally announced in April, the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) is part of the UK Government's COVID-19 financial support package. Its purpose is to provide fast financial relief for businesses adversely impacted by the pandemic. Now, in November, the Treasury has updated the scheme, including extending the application deadline, and allowing existing loans to be 'topped up'.

For a look at the original features of the BBLS, including information on eligibility, the sums available and how it interacts with the other arms of the Government's support package, read our blog post from May here.

Key Updates

Deadline Extension

The deadline to apply for the BBLS has now been extended to 31 January 2021. This gives firms an extra three months to apply, as the scheme was originally due to come to an end in October 2020.


Businesses that did not apply for their full entitlement (25% of turnover, up to £50,000 max.), can now opt to 'top up' their loan to this amount. This option can only be used once.

Term Extension

BBLS loans can now be extended, from the original maximum six-year term, to a maximum 10 year term. This means that monthly repayments can potentially be reduced, but loan recipients could end up paying more interest. Bear in mind though that BBLS loans can be repaid, in full, at any time without incurring any fees, giving borrowers flexibility to repay when they can afford to do so without being penalised.

Payment Holidays

Businesses can now take one payment holiday over the length of the loan, pausing repayments for up to six months. This option can only be exercised after six repayments have been made.

Interest Only Payments

There is now the option to move to interest-only payments temporarily for six months. This option can be exercised up to three times over the course of the loan.

The BBLS remains an instrument which can be used flexibly by borrowers as the Treasury does not stipulate how the loan should be spent. This means that it can be used to shore up a director's personal income or cover costs, such as staff wages, utility bills or even paying off existing loans and finance. Full details of the BBLS can be found here.

How do I access the funding?

BBLS loans are available through the British Business Bank's accredited lenders. Businesses will be required to fill in a short online application form and self-declare that they are eligible for the scheme.

To apply for a BBLS loan, businesses should approach their own BBLS accredited lender in the first instance, but are also free to approach other accredited lenders if they are unable to access the finance they need or if their existing provider is not accredited to provide BBLS loans.


Lindsay Lee

Senior Associate

Andrew Thomson

Trainee Solicitor