The Bounce Back Loan scheme (the Scheme) was announced on 27 April 2020 to quickly provide registered and unregistered small businesses with loans of up to £50,000, or a maximum of 25% of annual turnover, to support their financial health during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Scheme, government’s largest and most risky business loan support scheme, and closed for new applications on 31 March 2021.
The investigation will look at what government is doing to protect public money in relation to the Scheme and will provide an update on: how many loans were made by the time the Scheme closed; how many businesses have begun repaying loans; the counter-fraud activity taking place, and the levels of identified fraud; and the latest Scheme estimates of potential fraud and credit losses.
This follows the National Audit Office’s first investigation into the Bounce Back Loan scheme published in October 2020, which provided an overview of the Scheme, including the number and value of loans issued and the main Scheme risks.
More information about our work to report on government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic can be found here.