Well, Roger the Robin went down well, and I don't mean just with the cat. (if that means nothing, re-read Ed 34)
Back to more serious matters, today was the day that the so-called Bounceback loans went live.
A couple of developments took place over the weekend in the run up to the launch.
Firstly, the interest rate was capped at 2.5% (remember it's 0% and no repayments for the first year). So that's a good thing.
Secondly though, it was announced what was meant by the 'not in financial difficultyat 31-12-19' restriction. The test introduced is that at 31-12-19 a business' accumulated losses can be no more than 50% of the share capital. This is going to a problem for some who saw these loans as a lifeline.
I've been looking for problems in the loan scheme as it seemed too good to be true. Here are some of them that I've spotted so far.
Point 1 - only ten banks are authorised to give them. The full list is Barclays, Natwest, Lloyds (notTSB), HSBC, RBS, Bank of Scotland, Santander, Clydesdale, Ulsterbank and oddly, Danske Bank. And whilst I haven't checked them all it looks like they need you to be an existing customer. There are planned to be more, but for the time being there are a lot businesses left high and dry
Point 2- this seems to vary but it looks like many of them are only open for businesses who run a business account. So sole traders who have tried to avoid bank charges by banking through a personal account are 'probably' going to have problem.
Point 3- these loans were flagged as being Government guaranteed, with no personal guarantees needed. This needs qualifying as at least one bank makes clear on its website that this isonly the case for limited companies- sole traders and partnerships see their proprietors/partners on the hook personally.
Point 4- Being really picky, but when these launched last week the boast was 'money in your account in 24 hours'. My bank has stretched that in its literature to 'within 48 hours', another bank has said 'in a few days'
Anyway, at 9.10 this morning I logged on to my bank (whose name I won't mention). I went through what I thought was the application process. It asked whether I banked with them through a business account, what my name was, company name, email and telephone number.
It accepted me, I thought 'I know it was billed to be easy but surely that's too easy'.
I received an e-mail which gives me a reference, a time stamp and the phrase "Thank you for your enquiry. You will receive an e-mail shortly that will set out full details and next steps for you to take." That was 9.19, nothing further so far, although the inside line is that I understand they are batching up applications and sending out 'later today'.Not by 6.21 pm they haven't.
So, in the immortal words of D:Ream, 'Things can only get better'. (Mind you, that was Tony Blair's campaign tune) Will keep you posted !
Remember, if you have 'missed' any previous editions, they can be found at
What are my positives today:-:
1. The Bounceback loans are with us.
Because it's better to have something that isn't perfect than nothing at all.
Words which I've often used when cooking dinner....
2. The Self Employed Income Support Scheme is on the way
I wish it wasn't called SEISS which sounds very similar to SEIS, an existing tax scheme that means something very different ! Like tax wasn't confusing enough already..
I understand that HMRC are writing to self employed taxpayers today about this, in the meantime you can check your eligibility for the grant at
You need your UTR number and NI number.
If it gives an answer that you disagree with then there is a button to click.
3. Read that again- 'If it gives an answer that you disagree with then there is a button to click.'
If that becomes widely available, then we'll see lots of bankrupted divorce lawyers...
And what am I talking to clients about ?
Basically, how to make sense of the above schemes !
In addition, the decision of whether to defer the current VAT liability - remember that you must cancel the direct debit to do this, and/or the July self assessment payments. Many people are taking the view that it just stores up trouble, which is true. All I add to that debate is if you run out of cash later in the year you won't be able to apply to get the VAT back.
Debbie likes to have flowers in the house.
Sorting out the kitchen garden we came across some neglected broccoli, doesn't it look spectacular ?