“I’m living on cards”: The companies nonetheless ready for emergency loans

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Hina SolankiImage copyright Hina Solanki
Image caption Hina Solanki says she has had a tricky time attempting to get a mortgage

Businesses are nonetheless struggling to entry government-backed loans from their banks.

Hina Solanki says she has had a nightmare attempting to get help from her financial institution for her tattoo enterprise to get by means of the lockdown.

“I can’t pay anything. I’m living on cards. It’s extremely stressful”, she says.

For the final fortnight she has been attempting to use for a £50,000 Bounce Back Loan from her financial institution.

“But I just get error messages,” she says. “They seem to have a technical fault.”

She’s not alone, regardless that it’s nearly two weeks because the launch of the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) to prop up stricken small companies.

Hundreds of hundreds of purposes have been accepted, however BBC News has seen a string of complaints about main banks, together with Santander, HSBC and Barclays, from clients who’ve been unable to get any cash.

Ms Solanki has constructed a status offering beauty tattooing, for folks whose look is affected by surgical procedure or situations resembling alopecia.

‘Overloaded’

But in March she needed to shut her clinic in Finchley in North London, furloughing her 4 workers.

She used the federal government grant for 80% of their wages however topped them as much as 100%, which has added to the price of retaining the enterprise alive. So she utilized for the mortgage by means of Barclays.

“Barclays seem overloaded,” she says, “They have just not been able to deliver.”

Ms Solanki tried to have her overdraft expanded, however that failed. She tried to get a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan from the financial institution, however that didn’t come by means of.

Now Bounce Back Loans – curiosity free for a 12 months – appear to be out of her reach as properly, regardless that they’re totally backed by the federal government, so the financial institution can not lose.

Barclays clients have informed BBC News that they’ve needed to wait hours on the telephone to the financial institution attempting to get purposes began.

Some have been informed, incorrectly, that their private particulars had been wrongly entered. Others that having two signatories on their enterprise account is an issue.

Image copyright STEVEN OGDEN
Image caption Maria Ogden says her automobile rent firm is open, however with few clients

Barclays informed the BBC that 95% of shoppers who’ve utilized have acquired their funds and that it was working onerous to assist clients who’ve fallen by means of the cracks.

Maria Ogden, who runs a automobile rent firm in Oswestry, in Shropshire, has additionally been ready for one of many emergency loans, in her case from Santander.

“I’ve got vehicles on finance, insurance, rent – and people knocking on the door for payments,” she says, “but we can’t earn any money.”

Ms Ogden’s enterprise is allowed to remain open in the course of the pandemic however she has hardly any clients and has furloughed her workers.

Rent stress

She needs the utmost £50,000 Bounce Back Loan as properly. But after she utilized on fifth May, the day after the launch, she continues to be ready to listen to again.

“I’ve banked with them for years. What’s the delay?” she asks.

Like Ms Solanki, Ms Ogden says she tried to get the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan, then switched to the Bounce Back choice as a result of it was speculated to be simpler and faster.

“All my time this last week has been spent on the phone, on emails, trying to find out about this loan, instead of spending it working out how to help the business,” Ms Ogden says. “Without it, I’m finished.”

Santander informed BBC News, “While most applications have been processed quickly and smoothly, some are more complicated and we are working through these as quickly as we can.”

Image copyright PETER AMABLE
Image caption Peter Amable has acquired his mortgage, however 11 days after making use of

Many have been getting the loans, together with Peter Amable who runs Storm Hair and Beauty in Shrewsbury.

“I’m elated. I can stop stressing about my rent,” he says.

But he has had an anxious wait. The £4,000 he needed from Barclays has solely simply gone into his account. He utilized 11 days in the past and anticipated the cash the subsequent day from what was billed as fast-track lending.

“I think it has only come because I have been constantly at them, going on and on,” he says. “It shouldn’t be like that. It is shocking.”

Government figures earlier within the week confirmed the massive scale of the scheme.

‘Unprecedented demand’

Nearly 270,000 Bounce Back Loans had already been accepted for greater than £8bn. However, a big minority of candidates are discovering that the funds are onerous to pay money for.

A Treasury spokesman stated: “Millions has already landed in folks’s accounts and lenders are working onerous to course of and approve all purposes as shortly as potential.

“All lenders are welcome to apply to the scheme, and we are working closely with the banks to ensure firms get the finance they need.”

At Barclays, it’s clear that there are some purposes which merely can not get by means of the financial institution’s on-line course of, so a human has to step in to take care of discrepancies, or confirm conflicting data.

A Barclays spokesperson stated: “In the primary week alone of this scheme being dwell, we accepted almost 70,000 Bounce Back Loans value greater than £2.1bn, and 95% of shoppers who’ve utilized because the launch of the BBLS have acquired their funds.

“Our colleagues are working extraordinarily hard to get these loans into the hands of customers as quickly as possible, with the number of loans approved in the first week of the scheme equivalent to the amount that we would normally approve over a three year period.”

Santander stated it had accepted greater than 70,000 on-line purposes and paid out almost £1.3bn to enterprise clients.

“We’ve seen unprecedented demand for Bounce Back Loans and have been working hard to get these much-needed loans to our customers as quickly as possible and we apologise for any inconvenience,” HSBC stated in a press release.