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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

When times were tough, we supported SMEs by offering them loans through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), and now we want to continue that support by giving them access to the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS). We've been accredited by the British Business Bank to offer secured loans through the RLS. This means we can continue helping SMEs to get back on their feet.

What is the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS)?

The Scheme provides essential finance for UK businesses recovering from or looking to grow after the difficult climate of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Loans taken out through the Scheme can be used for key business purposes, like cashflow, investment, and growth. It is designed to support businesses that can afford to take out additional finance for these purposes. A key aim of the RLS is to improve the terms on offer to businesses, but if a lender can offer a business the choice of a commercial loan on better terms, without requiring the guarantee provided by the RLS, they should do so.

Businesses that have taken out a CBILS, CLBILS or BBLS facility can still apply to the new Recovery Loan Scheme.

At the Autumn Budget 2021, the Government announced that the Recovery Loan Scheme will be extended by six months to 30th June 2022, with changes applying to all offers made from the 1st January 2022.

Male barber shop owner cutting a customer's hair

What does the Recovery Loan Scheme offer?

  • We offer secured business loans from a minimum of £250,000 to a maximum of £2m, subject to our commercial lending policy
  • We offer commitment periods of up to six years
  • We accept applications from both new and existing customers
  • The loan can be used for business investment, to refinance existing debt from another lender, and for cashflow purposes.
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

  • Self-certify that it has been impacted by COVID-19

  • 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

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

  • Generate more than 50% of its turnover from trading activity

    As defined by the British Business Bank, trading activity for RLS is any trading or commercial activity that generates turnover. Rental income (as long as it is UK based) is classified as a service income and is acceptable for RLS.

  • Not be subject to any relevant insolvency proceedings or collective insolvency procedure under national law.

  • Be a small to medium sized enterprise with an annual turnover of less than £45m

Who is not eligible to apply?

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

  • Public sector bodies

  • State funded primary or secondary schools.

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
  • 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)
  • Evidence of payroll costs and total turnover for 2019
  • A copy of your business plan or response to COVID-19.

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

RLS loans - Undertaking in Difficulty guide

RLS supplementary form

Your RDBM will also contact you to arrange RLS training for you and your firm. You need to complete this before you can submit an application with us on behalf of your clients.

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.

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.

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

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.