Home » 26th March 2020 – Daily Coronavirus / Covid19 update

26th March 2020 – Daily Coronavirus / Covid19 update

Self Employed Income Support Scheme

It has been announced that Self-employed workers will now be eligible to receive 80% of their average monthly profits declared on their tax returns over the last 3 years, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. This scheme is open for 3 months and may be extended.

This is open to anyone with trading profits of up to £50k and receives the majority of their income from self-employment.

The scheme will be open no later than the beginning of June, however they are hoping to bring this forward if possible.

Self-employed workers must have a tax return filed for 2018-19 tax year, and if they have missed the deadline they have 4 weeks from now to get that filed.

No action needs to be taken – HMRC will contact those eligible for this grant and there will be a short online form and grants will be paid directly to the self-employed worker shortly after this form is submitted.

If you have just started being self-employed it appears you may fall through the cracks on this.

There are not many details at this point but more may become apparent in the coming days.

Rates-based Grants

One of our clients has confirmed that Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council have been in touch regarding the rates based grants, as have councils in other areas of the UK, so we would expect other Local Authorities to follow suit and start contacting businesses who are eligible for any of the following schemes in the next few days:

  • Business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure
  • Cash grant for retail, hospitality and leisure
  • Small business grant funding

In addition to the above, it was also confirmed late yesterday that estate agents, lettings agencies and bingo halls are also now eligible for the business rates holiday applicable to the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.

I am a little concerned that people calling, asking you to visit a website and enter your bank details could be fraud. This may not be the case but be vigilant if you receive a call from the council please be 100% sure before entering your bank details.

UK Banks Business Interruption Loan Links

It appears that many of the UK’s banks are not offering the CBILs scheme in the first instance, and are instead offering their usual borrowing means, and then only passing on the government-backed guarantee if the business cannot offer security themselves. Which I am sure goes against the spirit of what the government intended but that’s banks for you.

Many of the banks are also only offering loans to their existing customers, so on the below link is a list of alternative lenders which may be able to help if your bank cannot.

https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils-2/current-accredited-lenders-and-partners/

Below is a list of the UK banks that are accredited to offer the scheme, and a link to the information on their website, with a quick snapshot of the information available.

Barclays https://www.barclays.co.uk/business-banking/borrow/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan/

Although not stated anywhere on their website – it’s is being fed back from our clients that Barclays are not forthcoming with the CBILS and are instead first pointing businesses in the direction of their existing products before offering the CBILS as an option. We await further information on this as Barclays responded on Twitter to suggest this was not the case.

HSBChttps://www.business.hsbc.uk/en-gb/finance-and-borrowing/credit-and-lending/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme

HSBC website states that a CIBLS loan may be available to you if you:

  • Are an existing HSBC business customer.
  • Operate in the UK.
  • Have an group annual turnover of no more than £45m.
  • Operate in a sector that is eligible for CBILS
  • Have a sound borrowing proposal and are a viable applicant but may lack adequate sufficient security to meet our standard commercial lending criteria.
  • The purpose of the loan meets the standard CBILS eligibility criteria, for example:
  • Starting trading.
  • Developing a project.
  • Short-medium term cash flow concerns.
  • Expanding an existing business.
  • Purchase of equipment.

There is no mention of this only being offered in the instance that the business does not qualify for one of the bank’s existing loan products.

Lloyd’shttps://www.lloydsbank.com/business/coronavirus/cbils.html?WT.ac=lloyds-bb_and_sme-covid_19-support-tile-FOM-cbils_homepage

Lloyd’s state they are available to offer businesses a government backed lending facility where they meet the British Business Bank’s eligibility and Lloyd’s own credit criteria, but wouldn’t ordinarily be able to access lending products because of availability of security.  If a business is  eligible within the existing criteria this scheme does not apply.

Metro Bank https://www.metrobankonline.co.uk/coronavirus/coronavirus-business-customers/

Don’t currently have anything in place but they are working on it and this page will be the go-to place if you are a Metro Bank customer.

NatWesthttps://www.business.natwest.com/business/support-centre/service-status/coronavirus/government-scheme.html

NatWest and do not sound like they will be very forthcoming with passing on the government guarantee. Their website states that you’ll need to apply for one of their loan products using the normal application process. If you are not eligible to receive finance against their standard lending criteria, they will be able to consider your application under the CBILS scheme.

Santanderhttps://www.santandercb.co.uk/financing/corporate-lending/specialised-finance/enterprise-finance-guarantee-scheme

Again, another bank only offering the scheme if they cannot offer you a form of borrowing under their usual terms. They are recommending you contact your relationship Director in the first instance to check your eligibility.

 

RBShttps://www.business.rbs.co.uk/business/support-centre/service-status/coronavirus/government-scheme.html

RBS advice is the same as NatWest and does not sound like they will be very forthcoming with passing on the government guarantee. Their website states that you’ll need to apply for one of their loan products using the normal application process. If you are not eligible to receive finance against their standard lending criteria, they will be able to consider your application under the CBILS scheme.

 

TSBhttps://www.tsb.co.uk/business/coronavirus/

TSB have confirmed they will be implementing the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. They expect to have more information for customers in the coming days. They have stated, however, that in the meantime, business customers needing immediate support have access to a range of alternative solutions including extending overdraft facilities or refinancing existing lending.

Some of our clients have begun to use alternative methods of funding, exploring the options of credit cards with long interest-free and transfer periods, as well as the option for the over 55s to access their pension funds – dependant on the type of scheme and values involved. Contact your IFA or us for a recommendation of someone who can help.

We will not charge you extra

I wanted to pledge that we will not charge any of our clients extra for providing information to help them complete forms for grants or loans. We cannot pledge to complete your loan / grant applications for you as we are facing staff shortages too but if you need any information or are unsure on what you have been asked we are happy to help free of charge.

In fact we will not charge you extra for any telephone or email support you receive during this crisis or for any extra work required to place your employees on furlough with HMRC, you are our valued clients and we want to support you at this time.

It’s a team effort

Finally, a big thank you for my team for their sterling efforts in providing information for this email and the Facebook group – especially Kurt who is just starting with Accsys Accountants, what a week to start a new job, he is already having an impact.