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Recovery Loan Scheme - RLS

  • Available to new and existing customers

  • Businesses who have taken out previous Government-backed lending are eligible

  • Available for new purchases or refinancing debt

How we're supporting businesses

As we emerge from a difficult period, it's vital that businesses have the support they need to invest and grow.

We've been accredited by the British Business Bank to offer secured loans through the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS). This means we can continue to help SMEs as they navigate the challenging times that lie ahead.

What is the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS)?

The new iteration of the Recovery Loan Scheme launched in August 2022 and is designed to support access to finance for UK small businesses as they look to invest and grow.

RLS aims to improve the terms on offer to borrowers. If we can offer a commercial loan on better terms, we will do so.

Businesses that took out a CBILS, CLBILS, BBLS or RLS facility before 30 June 2022 are not prevented from accessing RLS from August 2022, although in some cases it may reduce the amount a business can borrow.

Recovery Loan Scheme-backed facilities are provided at our discretion. We are required to undertake standard credit and fraud checks for all applicants.

Male barber shop owner cutting a customer's hair

What does the Recovery Loan Scheme offer?

  • Up to £2m loans: We offer secured business loans from a minimum of £250,000 to a maximum of £2m*, subject to our commercial lending policy.
    * Limit of £1m per business group for Northern Ireland Protocol borrowers with further sectoral restrictions. Information can be found in the RLS Lending Criteria..
  • Up to six year loan term: We offer commitment periods up to six years.
  • Open to new and existing customers: We accept applications from both new and existing customers.
  • Interest options: Both variable and fixed rate loan products available.
  • Multiple purposes: The loan can be used for business investment, to refinance existing debt from another lender, and for cash flow purposes.
  • Personal guarantees: A personal guarantee may be required, at our discretion. Security cannot be taken over Principal Private Residences.
  • Guarantee to the lender: The scheme provides the lender with a 70% government-backed guarantee against the outstanding balance of the facility after it has completed its normal recovery process. The borrower always remains 100% liable for the debt.
  • Subsidy: The assistance provided through RLS, like many Government-backed business support activities, is regarded as a subsidy and is deemed to benefit the borrower. There is a limit to the amount of subsidy that may be received by a borrower, and its wider group, over any rolling three-year period. Any previous subsidy may reduce the amount a business can borrow.
    • All borrowers in receipt of a subsidy from a publicly-funded programme should be provided with a written statement, confirming the level and type of aid received.
    • Borrowers will need to provide written confirmation that receipt of the RLS facility will not mean that the business exceeds the maximum amount of subsidy they are allowed to receive.
  • Northern Ireland Protocol: All borrowers will need to answer some questions to determine whether they are inside or outside the scope of the Northern Ireland Protocol, to determine the relevant subsidy limit and hence the potential maximum amount they can borrow under RLS.
Female business owner withing with metal in her workshop

Who is eligible for the Recovery Loan Scheme?

To be eligible for an RLS loan, your customer’s business must:

  • Be UK-based in its business activity and cannot be used to support certain export related activities**

  • Provide suitable security for a secured loan in line with our commercial lending policy

  • Have a borrowing proposal which Atom would consider viable in line with our commercial lending policy in place at time of application (we may disregard concerns over short-to-medium term performance due to the uncertainty and impact of Covid-19)

  • Be willing to undertake credit and fraud checks for all applicants

  • Not be a business in difficulty, including not being in any relevant insolvency proceedings

  • Be a small to medium sized enterprise with an annual turnover up to £45m (on a group basis, where part of a group)

Who is not eligible to apply?

  • Banks, building societies, insurers or reinsurers (excluding insurance brokers)

  • Public sector bodies

  • State funded primary or secondary schools.

** There are certain restrictions on agriculture, fisheries and aquiculture, and road freight transport sectors for borrowers impacted by the Northern Ireland Protocol

How do I apply?

To apply for a Recovery Loan Scheme loan with us, you will need to do so through Portal Lite.

Register for Portal Lite

Before you can apply on behalf of a business, you will need to have completed our RLS broker training and returned the addendum to your agreement to us. If you need assistance with either of these steps, you can contact your RBDM.

To process your application on behalf of a business, we will need the following documentation:

  • Atom RLS supplementary form
  • Data Protection & Disclosure Declaration for all key applicants and any personal guarantors
  • Latest 2 years complete accounts, including P&L
  • Up to date management accounts and trading performance evidence (including P&L and aged debtors/creditors list)

We will not be able to proceed with your case without the Atom RLS supplementary form, please ensure this is submitted with the application.

Once you’ve contacted us for a quote our TBDM or RBDM team will be in touch about the application and to discuss your case, including eligibility and to provide you with indicative pricing.


Support and help for you and your customers

While we’ve certainly had some hard times recently, we hope that our RLS loans can help you to get your customers back on their feet. We want you to feel supported through the application process, so we’ve put together some resources below:

download RLS lending criteria

RLS lending criteria

Remember, you can always get in touch if there’s something you’d like to talk to us about. Contact our TBDM team via or 0333 399 0060, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Alternatively, you can speak to your RBDM, who’ll be happy to answer any queries.

Business finance support

The British Business Bank has a range of guidance and resources available to all businesses, including content on managing your cash flow and a list of independent advice services.

If your clients need independent support they can contact Business Debtline, a charity who provide free debt advice for small businesses and the self-employed. Visit or call 0800 197 6026.

british business bank

The Recovery Loan Scheme is managed by the British Business Bank on behalf of, and with the financial backing of, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. British Business Bank plc is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government. It is not authorised or regulated by the PRA or the FCA.