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Coronavirus info: business and commercial customers

Supporting our customers

  • Who can I speak to about the impact of COVID-19 on my business?

    We are supporting our business customers in a number of ways. To begin with, please get in touch with your Relationship Manager. Or, you can call our specialist business team on 0345 08 08 508 between 8am and 6.30pm, Monday to Friday.

  • How is Metro Bank supporting businesses during the coronavirus?

    • We’re here to support our business customers who may be impacted by coronavirus. We understand it’s a difficult time and commit to being a patient creditor for those who borrow from us.
    • For Metro Bank borrowers with a viable business, who don’t need additional finance, but require financial support with existing facilities, please contact your Local Business Manager or Relationship Manager for advice on how we may assist you. Measures such as a Capital Repayment Holiday or Interest Roll Up for a period of 6 months are part of the support we can offer.
  • Opening a new business account with us

    • We are receiving a lot of enquiries about our business accounts at the moment, so to make sure our services are running smoothly for our existing customers and to keep waiting times to a minimum, we’ve temporarily introduced a new system.
    • You need to visit your local store to speak to one of our colleagues and make an appointment to discuss opening a business account. For our opening hours, click here.

Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS)

  • What is the Bounce Back Loan Scheme?

    • The Government-backed Bounce Back Loan Scheme has been created to help small and medium-sized businesses that have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, by offering a fixed-rate loan of up to 25% of turnover, between £2,000 and £50,000
    • The Government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months
    • This replaces the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) for lending of £50,000 and under
    • If you applied for a CBILS loan below £50,001 before 9am on 4 May 2020, the application will still be honoured – but you will be given the opportunity to switch to the BBLS
    • You can find more information on the Government website at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-coronavirus-bounce-back-loan
  • Are you accepting applications?

    • Yes – you can find all the details and get started with your application on our Bounce Back Loans
    • To keep our systems running smoothly and give all our customers an equal opportunity to make an application, we’re using a queuing system. The queue limits how many people can access our application form at the same time. Once you click ‘Apply Online Now’, you’ll be taken to our queuing page and see where you are in the line. At very busy times we may need to temporarily close the queue for customers.
  • Am I eligible for a Bounce Back Loan?

    Details on eligibility can be found here, or you can read more at the British Business Bank.
  • Do I need to be an existing Metro Bank Business customer to apply for a Bounce Back Loan from Metro Bank?

    • You need to have a Metro Bank Business Bank Account to apply.
    • If you don’t, please speak to the bank you have a business account with for support in the first instance.
  • Can I have a Bounce Back Loan as well as a CBILS?

    You cannot take out a Bounce Back Loan if your business has already been approved for a CBILS facility. However, if it does already have a CBILS facility, you can apply for a Bounce Back Loan if this will refinance the CBILS facility in full.
  • How do I get in touch with you to talk about Bounce Back Loans?

    If you have any questions about the BBLS or need help applying, call 0203 402 8140 between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

  • Is my business eligible for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)?

    • CBILS is for existing Metro Bank business banking customers only. If Metro Bank don’t currently provide you with transactional banking facilities, or you have a Mortgage Debenture issued to another Lender, please speak to your main bank for support in the first instance.
    • CBILS is designed to support UK based SME businesses. Turnover of the business (or group of businesses) will be less than £45m with more than 50% of the business’ (or group of businesses’) turnover generated from trading activity. The business must have a viable business proposition, but will have experienced a loss in trading or an impact on business performance as a consequence of the coronavirus outbreak.
  • What is the CBILS eligibility criteria?

    • The eligibility criteria specified by the British Business Bank states that CBILS is open to businesses that:
      • Have a borrowing proposal which, were it not for the coronavirus pandemic, would be considered viable, and for which the provision of finance will enable trading out of any short-to-medium term difficulty.
      • Can afford to repay the borrowing over a period of up to 6 years. You will need to demonstrate that your business would have been able to afford this lending before the coronavirus outbreak (for example with your financial accounts).
      • CBILS will provide loans of over £50,000, up to £5 million, with no interest due for the first year, and a 12-month Capital Repayment Holiday. You don’t have to pay an arrangement fee and there’s no Early Repayment Charge. At the end of the interest-free period, our standard pricing will apply.
      • Applications up to £250k will be considered without security. A Personal/Director Guarantee is not required.
      • For applications over £250k, we are required to take collateral, where it is available, to support your application. Personal guarantees, at a max limit of 20% of the initial loan amount, may still be required. Recoveries under these are capped at a maximum of 20% of the outstanding balance of the CBILS facility after the proceeds of business assets have been applied.
      • A Principal Private Residence (PPR) cannot be taken as security to support a personal guarantee or as security for a CBIL backed facility.
    • For facilities with a proposed maturity after 31 December 2020, the facility amount should not exceed:
    1. twice the annual wage bill of the beneficiary (including social charges as well as the cost of personnel working on the undertakings site, but formally in the payroll of subcontractors) for 2019, or for the last year available. In the case of undertakings created on or after 1 January 2019, the maximum loan must not exceed the estimated annual wage bill for the first two years in operation; or
    2. 25% of total turnover of the beneficiary in 2019; or
    3. with appropriate justification and based on a self-certification by the Applicants of its liquidity needs, the liquidity needs of the Applicant from the moment of granting for the coming 18 months. The Applicant’s liquidity plan may include both working capital and investment costs.
  • How can I check if I am eligible for CBILS?

    We’ve put together a short eligibility questionnaire:

    If you can answer “yes” to all of the following questions, you may be eligible for CBILS. All decisions are subject to credit decision:

    1. Is your enquiry for finance as a result of being impacted by coronavirus?
    2. Are you an existing customer of Metro Bank with full banking facilities?
    3. You have not issued a Mortgage Debenture in favour of another bank?
    4. Are you a small or medium-sized enterprise with a turnover of less than £45m?
    5. Does, or will, your business generate 50% or more of its income from trading activity?
    6. Is your business based in the UK, and will the loan be used to support trading in the UK?
    7. Is the main reason for seeking finance to support investment, increase working capital, fund business growth or acquisitions?
    8. Is your borrowing enquiry between £50,001 and £250k, and is this for a maximum repayment term of 6 years?
    9. Are you applying for a loan in Pound sterling (GBP)?
    10. You have read and understood the viability and affordability criteria associated with this scheme in our Metro Bank Fact Sheet, and can confirm you are in a position to proceed with the application?
    11. Your business does not operate in the following sectors: Banks, Insurers and Reinsurers (but not Insurance Brokers), Public-sector bodies, Further-education establishments if they are grant funded, State Funded Primary and Secondary Schools.

    If you have answered “yes” to all questions, but “no” to question 8:

    • Is your enquiry for borrowing less than £5m in total (including any existing government-backed lending), and is this for a maximum term of 6 years?
    • You are aware it is our requirement to take *collateral, where it is available, to support this application?

    *Personal guarantees, at a max limit of 20% of the initial loan amount, may still be required. Recoveries under these are capped at a maximum of 20% of the outstanding balance of the CBILS facility after the proceeds of business assets have been applied. A Principal Private Residence (PPR) cannot be taken as security to support a personal guarantee or as security for a CBIL backed facility.

  • Are there any restrictions to which businesses can apply for CBILS?

    • Under the scheme, the Government provides a guarantee to the lender. It’s important to note that you remain liable for 100% of the outstanding debt. Where defaults occur, we follow our standard commercial recovery procedures, including the realisation of security, before we make a claim against the Government guarantee for any shortfall.
    • Businesses from the following sectors cannot apply: Banks, Insurers and Reinsurers (but not Insurance Brokers), Public-sector bodies, Further-education establishments if they are grant funded, State Funded Primary and Secondary Schools.
    • Fishery, aquaculture and agriculture businesses may not qualify for the full interest and fee payment.
    • CBILS advances of £30,000 and above, to SMEs which are not Micro and Small Enterprises, are only available to borrowers who are not an “Undertaking in Difficulty” as at 31 December 2019 under Article 2 (18) of the Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014 (17 June 2014), examples of which are:
    • businesses that have accumulated losses greater than half of their subscribed share capital / capital, or
    • businesses that entered into collective insolvency proceedings or fulfilled the criteria to be put into collective insolvency proceedings, or
    • businesses that have previously received rescue aid that is yet to be reimbursed or restructuring aid and are still under a restructuring plan.
    • Micro and Small Enterprises will not be considered undertakings in difficulty unless they are (a) subject to collective insolvency procedure under national law, or (b) in receipt of rescue aid (which has not been repaid) or restructuring aid (and are still subject to a restructuring plan).
    • Micro and Small Enterprises have:
      • Fewer than 50 employees, and
      • Less than £9 million of annual turnover OR Less than £9 million annual balance sheet total
  • Where can I apply for CBILS?

    • To apply for CBILS, please contact your designated Local Business Manager or Relationship Manager, who will be able to guide you through our Eligibility Process and next steps. Alternatively, if you do not have a Local Business Manager or Relationship Manager, please call us on 0345 0808 508 or visit your local store.
    • For eligible applications, we will endeavour to process your application with funds ready to draw within 10-14 days.
    • Please refer to our website for updates: metrobankonline.co.uk/coronavirus-business-customers.
    • If you’re an early stage business in the first two years of trading with primarily UK based activity, the British Business Bank’s Start Up Loans programme (loans £500 to £25,000 at 6% interest) may be more suitable. Visit startuploans.co.uk for more information.
    • If you’d like to see which other accredited lenders are participating in the CBILS scheme you can read the full list at british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme-cbils-2/current-accredited-lenders-and-partners.
  • My business isn’t eligible for the CBILS, what other options do I have?

    Rate relief

    Small Business Rate Relief is available for properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or less – you can check the rateable value of your property at uk/correct-your-business-rates. If you qualify, you may also be eligible for a £25,000 cash grant via your local authority.

    Additional relief for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses has been extended to provide 100% business rate relief, with no rateable value limit, for 12 months.

    Ratepayers experiencing financial difficulties may apply for hardship relief from their local authority, who have the power to grant a discount or exemption at their discretion.

    To get started, contact your council to claim these reliefs. A full list of reliefs can be found at gov.uk/apply-for-business-rate-relief.

    Commercial loans

    Businesses facing financial difficulties because of the coronavirus will be supported with at least a three-month mortgage payment holiday. You’ll need to get in touch with your Relationship Manager to discuss this directly.

    HMRC Time to Pay Arrangements

    To talk to HMRC about delaying your VAT and PAYE payment deadlines, call their dedicated phone line on 0800 0159 559.

    Statutory Sick Pay and Annual Leave

    Companies with fewer than 250 employees on 28 Feb 2020 will be able to reclaim two weeks’ worth of statutory sick pay relating to coronavirus.

    Statutory Sick Pay payments to be introduced from the first day of sickness. This will apply retrospectively from 13 March 2020, and cover staff who are either unwell or have been told to self-isolate.

    The current government advice is to allow working from home if possible, but not to close the business. Your employees will therefore either be sick and on SSP or be on full pay (subject to any potential short working contract conditions) either at the business premises or at home.

    Employers can force staff to take holiday and pay holiday pay during periods of closure but must give staff twice as much notice as the closure period. Eg ten days’ notice for a five-day closure.

    The employment allowance has been increased from £3,000 to £4,000 and from next month companies will not have to pay employers national insurance contributions on the first £4,000 of their annual bill. (conditions apply Class 1 for prior year < £100K, IR35, sole director etc)

    To read the government’s guidance in full, go to
    gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-coronavirus-covid-19

    To read the current advice from the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), go to acas.org.uk/coronavirus. For specific ACAS guidance on short-time working and lay-offs, visit acas.org.uk/lay-offs-and-short-time-working.

    Business Interruption Insurance

    Most business interruption policies have a list of diseases covered and, as a new virus, the coronavirus is not listed – contact your insurer/broker and read your policies. To read the Association of British Insurers’ (ABI) statement on business insurance and coronavirus, go to org.uk/news/news-articles/2020/03/statement-on-business-insurance-and-coronavirus.

Other FAQs

  • I am an SME/business customer of Metro Bank and have loans with you. I am concerned about the impact of the Coronavirus on my ability to repay them – what should I do?

    Our SME/business customers and their employees are top priorities and, following the escalation of measures taken by the UK Government on Friday, 20th March, including the enforced closure of pubs, clubs and restaurants across the UK, and the increased pressures being seen by SME businesses across all sectors, we will take whatever steps we can to support you during this time. 

    Other means of support for SMEs at this difficult time include a specific helpline set up by HMRC, details of which and other help available from this source, can be found via the link below.  We strongly recommend you look at these websites as an early step.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/tax-helpline-to-support-businesses-affected-by-coronavirus-covid-19

     Similarly, the British Business Bank and the UK Government continue to develop wider financial means of support for SMEs in difficulty, and these can be found via this link:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

    Naturally, we also encourage you to get in touch with your relationship manager.

  • Where else can I go to seek financial support for the cash flow pressures I am experiencing as a result of COVID-19?

    Other means of support for SMEs at this difficult time include a specific helpline set up by HMRC, details of which and other help available from this source, can be found via the link below.  We strongly recommend you look at these websites as an early step.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/tax-helpline-to-support-businesses-affected-by-coronavirus-covid-19

    Similarly, the British Business Bank and the UK Government continue to develop wider financial means of support for SMEs in difficulty, and these can be found via this link:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

    Naturally, we also encourage you to get in touch with your relationship manager.

  • Can I still meet my Local Director in person?

    We suggest that you follow the UK Government’s advice around social distancing, so it’s probably better to call your Local Director, rather than meet face to face.

  • I have a business and my workforce has been affected. How can you help?

    Our focus is on supporting our existing customers, so if any of your employees need support they should check through our FAQs for ways we can help.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) 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 (BEIS). Full details on CBILS and the list of participating CBILS Lenders can be found on the British Business Bank website at: www.british-business-bank.co.uk/CBILS