Bounce Back Loans Fraud
09 November 2020
Article by: Deepak Vij, Partner at ABV Solicitors
Bounce Back Loans Scheme (BBLS) Fraud
ABV Solicitors are currently advising and representing a number of suspects in respect of alleged fraudulent applications for Bounce Back Loans.
The NCA (The National Crime Agency), working in conjunction with NATIS (The National Investigation Service) and other law enforcement agencies are carrying out a number of operations against targets whom they suspect of abusing and exploiting the (BBLS) Bounce Back Loan Scheme.
This has culminated in a number of nationwide arrests thus far and will result in many more individuals and companies being raided and persons being arrested, questioned and prosecuted over the next several months.
The Bounce Back Loan Scheme was introduced by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak to assist small and medium sized businesses financially through the coronavirus pandemic. These businesses were able to apply for 100% government backed interest -free loans between £2,000 and up to 25% of their turnover, subject to a maximum of £50,000.
Bounce Back Loans are estimated to cost over £60 billion with over 1.5 million applications made thus far. Whilst they provide a lifeline to businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, advisory reports to the government suggest that up to 60% of the loans will not be repaid due to fraud amongst other factors including applicants defaulting on their repayments.
It is alleged that The Bounce Back Loan Scheme has been targeted by both individuals and a number of organised crime groups to fraudulently apply for these loans by utilising identity theft, setting up fake companies, and creating false documents, and tax returns. It is suspected that over 26,000 applications worth over £1 billion pounds have been rejected by various banks for possible fraud.
The risks to the Bounce Back Loan Scheme have recently been reported by Angus Crawford from the BBC, Tom Kelly from the Daily Mail and by other mainstream media.
If you or someone you know has been arrested on suspicion of making a fraudulent Bounce Back Loan Scheme or are concerned that the police may arrest you, contact ABV Solicitors immediately for 24 hour professional legal advice and representation.