Why would anyone be surprised that the non-payment of bounce back loans has already become an issue, when most of the loans were carried out on a self-certification basis and the government encouraged banks to hand out bounce back loans?
Those of us in the insolvency profession have already all come across stories of directors who have spent their bounce back loan on new cars or paying dividends. The investigation of how bounce back loans have been spent by companies has now been added to the workload of administrators and liquidators.
In addition, new legislation is being introduced and expected to receive Royal Assent soon, which will enable the disqualification of directors of companies which have been dissolved without first having been in administration of liquidation, in the same manner as directors of insolvent companies can be subjected to disqualification proceedings for conduct which makes them unfit to be a company director.
For some directors there may therefore be some come back in relation to the bounce back.
In its report, the NAO said the government estimated more than a third of loans, worth £17bn, may never be repaid due to both fraudulent activity and legitimate borrowers defaulting. As of 30 September, figures from the state-owned British Business Bank, which supervises the scheme, showed £2bn worth of loans had been repaid and £1.3bn had been defaulted on. The bank said about 7% of all loans were at least one month in arrears.