On 4 May 2020, the FCA updated its statement concerning the UK Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the new UK Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) (together the schemes). The FCA refers to the announcement by HM Treasury on 27 April 2020 concerning amendments to the CBILS and the BBLS and the formal launch of the BBLS on 4 May 2020. The updated statement applies to any loan made under the schemes by an “accredited lender” from 4 May 2020.
In the updated statement the FCA refers to its previous announcement that as an interim measure pending the roll out of the BBLS scheme, if firms comply with the relevant requirements of CBILS the FCA will not expect them to comply with CONC 5.2A.4-34 where the lending is regulated. Following the launch of the BBLS, the FCA confirms that this position remains applicable to regulated lending that continues to take place under CBILS. Other than for loans made under the schemes, firms must continue to carry out creditworthiness assessments in line with the whole of CONC 5.2A on all other regulated lending.
For assessments of creditworthiness and affordability, the FCA will regard individuals’ compliance with relevant requirements of the schemes as compliance with their obligations under COCON 2.1 and 2.2 (with the exception of 2.1.1, 2.13 and 2.2.4).
The FCA also covers in its updated statement managing financial crime. In particular, the FCA notes that for existing customers, in the specific circumstances of the current environment, where an authorised firm has carried out appropriate customer due diligence before it received an application under the schemes, it does not need to make further checks. But if a firm has information suggesting a customer poses a higher risk it should carry out additional checks. For new customers firms should carry out normal customer due diligence measures with the possibility of deciding to use simplified due diligence where the money laundering and terrorist financing risks are low,