Banks are coming in for criticism from owners of small firms over the bounce-back loans launched by the government, as they are restricting and delaying access due to fears of fraud.
The Chancellor recently opted to lengthen the deadline for business owners to apply for one of the bounce-back loans to 30th November to ensure that everyone eligible was able to apply in time and receive the money they need. However, despite this, many business owners are reporting long delays from banks in processing bounce-back loan applications – or refusals to provide the loans.
Those applying through their existing banks, or trying to move to one that is still offering the loans, are stating that the process is taking so long that they are worried about missing out on the deadline. According to a National Audit Office (NAO) report, applications are sometimes taking as long as 12 weeks for processing, with just six remaining until the deadline.
The reason for this is the concern that banks have about small business owners being unable to pay back the loans in the future, as well as fraud, with the same NAO report indicating that around £26 billion out of the £38 billion in bounce-back loans may never be recovered.
This has led banks to introduce more stringent systems to guard against fraud, with many legitimate claimants suffering as a result. It is one area where a qualified small business accountant in Goole or anywhere else might be useful in helping business owners get through the process more quickly.