Live Q&A: Banks block access to bounceback loans

Small businesses across Britain are scrambling to secure a bounce back loan as large numbers of lenders block access to the state-backed loans, or restrict them to existing customers.

The Financial Times revealed on Monday that many financial institutions had withdrawn from offering bounceback loans after being deluged with applications — even though Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, has extended the scheme until the end of November and lengthened repayment terms.

Senior bankers have warned about the high risk of default among bounceback loan applicants who would not normally be approved, as well as fraud by criminal gangs able to exploit the limited checks that are required to borrow money.

Small businesses are now in a race against time to switch their bank accounts to the few lenders that are still accepting applications from new customers.

In this week’s live business clinic, the Financial Times wants to hear from small business owners battling to find a way through the crisis.

Claer Barrett, the FT’s consumer editor, and Andy Bounds, the FT’s enterprise editor, will take part in a live video Q&A with readers at 12 noon UK time on Tuesday October 6.

How easy or difficult are you finding it to access credit from your bank? What is your experience of trying to switch banks to access a loan? What will happen to your business if you are unable to access support?

Perhaps you work within banking and want to give your insights into why so many lenders are restricting access or how you think the process could be better handled.

To ask a question, or relay your experiences of accessing support from your bank, please leave a comment below. Come back to this story at 12 noon UK time to watch the live video discussion, which will be embedded in the story above, or watch live on the FT’s YouTube channel or LinkedIn page.

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