SME Lending (Image Source:

The British Business Bank has accredited the first batch of lenders under the new iteration of the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS).

From today, Bank of Scotland, Coventry & Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust (CWRT), Lloyds Bank, NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland will be able to offer facilities of up to £2million for borrowers outside the scope of the Northern Ireland Protocol, and up to £1million for those in the scope of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

The new iteration of the RLS seeks to facilitate access to finance for UK businesses as they look to recover from the turmoil of the pandemic and grow their businesses into new horizons.

The Bank administers the scheme on behalf of the Secretary of State for the department of business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS).

Back in October of last year, the Bank announced that the RLS has amassed 76 accredited lenders, which together have provided near to £1billion to smaller UK businesses by means of economic recovery.

Businesses can use the funding for a range of business purposes, including managing cash flow, investment and growth.

Iwoca‘s latest quarterly SME Expert Index, published this month, indicated that UK SMEs are leveraging funding to primarily grow their businesses, as opposed to just staying afloat as they did in the economic darkness of the pandemic.

Catherine Lewis La Torre

“Businesses up and down the country are beginning to look beyond the pandemic towards the opportunities available to them in the recovery,” explains British Business Bank CEO, Catherine Lewis La Torre.

“The British Business Bank is committed to supporting smaller businesses in accessing the finance they need to grow sustainably in the future. In meeting the £1billion milestone, the RLS is demonstrating its impact by helping thousands of companies to fund their further development.”

However, businesses must be able to afford to take out additional debt finance for these purposes. Earlier iterations of the scheme provided over £4.5billion of finance to smaller businesses between April 2021 and 30 June 2022.

The new iteration of the scheme aims to improve the terms on offer to borrowers. It is designed to be used at the discretion of the lender where appropriate. If a lender can offer a commercial loan on better terms, they will do so.

The Bank continues to review applications from a wide range of lender types, from Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA)-regulated banks to platform lenders, debt funds, invoice finance lenders, asset finance lenders and responsible finance lenders.

Additional lenders will be added to the accredited lenders listing on the British Business Bank website once they are confirmed as participants in the scheme.

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