A new Bounce Back Loan scheme has come into effect this week but customers of the banking firm, Barclays, are reportedly having issues.
With the world on almost total lockdown at the moment, the world has shifted in ways many would not have expected six months ago.
As the pandemic has forced the majority of people to stay at home, a number of businesses and their employees have started to struggle financially.
As a result, there have been several new financial schemes put in place by the UK government and the country’s biggest banks to help get individuals and businesses back on track.
The latest of these schemes is the so-called Bounce Back Loan but as applicants at one bank discovered, the process of applying has been a frustrating one.
The Bounce Back Loans scheme
The Bounce Back Loans scheme follows in the footsteps of the memorably titled Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).
The scheme, which offers loans of up to £50,000, launched on Monday, May 4th and was designed to be a more streamlined approach than the previous initiative.
However, according to the BBC, banks across the UK received an estimated 45,000 applications in just the first day, with some banking firms struggling to meet demand.
Barclays reportedly suffer issues
One of the banks that has reportedly suffered issues is Barclays.
The firm has been one of the busiest since the scheme launched on Monday, May 4th with a total of 6,000 applications and has been at the centre of a number of complaints after applicants suffered a range of issues from complicated application forms to errors and crashes while applying for the scheme.
Barclays quickly offered reassurance to applicants, asking for their patience, and is quoted on the BBC News site as saying: “Due to the extremely high level of demand, some customers will see availability later on today (May 4th).”
However, customers are still having issues applying for the Bounce Back Loan scheme.
Customers have their say
It’s safe to say that Barclays’ customers have felt hugely let down by the inconvenience and hassle the various loan schemes have resulted in.
One Barclays customer, James Robertson, told HITC that: “Barclays are handling the whole thing very badly and need to be investigated.”
“They have so far taken over 7 weeks to respond to my enquiry for support. I thought the bounce back loan scheme would help us, however, I have now been trying for 2 days straight to access the bounce back page, which does not work.”
Mr Robertson concluded: “People’s livelihoods are at risk, and the banking system is not delivering the support that was promised – it all seems like hollow words from the government.”
Meanwhile, another customer, who has been with Barclays for over 13 years, explained that they emailed via the site for a business interruption loan 6 weeks ago and waited 17 days for a call back.
“The person who called back was not qualified to sell Covid loans,” they explained, “I am now trying to apply for Covid loan backed by the government and have been trying since 9am yesterday (Monday, May 4th) but the site keeps crashing, it’s an absolute joke.”
Social media reacts
While Barclays has acknowledged frustrations with its application process, many on social media have been quick to offer up complaints regardless, especially as the future of some businesses is at stake.
One Twitter user wrote: “Why is the bounce back loans portal available for some companies but not others? The application page is not loading and redirects to a static page. #BounceBackLoans“
While another added: “It took up until yesterday lunchtime for the link to appear under products now just the divert to the error page.”
And finally, this Twitter user highlights the frustrating length of time they’ve been forced to wait: “it’s 5.30am on tuesday morning & I’ve been trying to apply for the Bounce Back Loan since 9am Monday.”
It remains to be seen how long these issues will persist but this is a new scheme arriving at an unprecedented moment in history.