Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS)

  • New and existing customers can apply for RLS
  • Businesses who’ve previously taken out Government-backed lending can apply
  • The Recovery Loan Scheme can be used for new purchases or refinancing debt
Business owner, using an IPad to make a transaction

What is the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS)?

The Recovery Loan Scheme was launched to support businesses as the economy emerged from uncertain conditions.

The new iteration of the Recovery Loan Scheme launched in August 2022 and is designed to support access to finance for UK small businesses as they look to invest and grow.

RLS aims to improve the terms on offer to borrowers. If a lender can offer a commercial loan on better terms, they will do so.

Businesses that took out a CBILS, CLBILS, BBLS or RLS facility before 30 June 2022 are not prevented from accessing RLS from August 2022, although in some cases it may reduce the amount a business can borrow.

Recovery Loan Scheme-backed facilities are provided at the discretion of the lender. Lenders are required to undertake their standard credit and fraud checks for all applicants.

Young business owner using her IPad to apply for an Atom RLS loan

What can the Recovery Loan Scheme offer my business?

At Atom, we know times have been hard for small businesses recently. So, we are continuing our support by offering secured business loans through the latest iteration of the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS).

We’ve been accredited to provide RLS loans by the British Business Bank. This means we can provide your business with Government-backed secured loans designed to help you invest and grow.

Up to £2m loans:

We offer secured business loans from a minimum of £250,000 to a maximum of £2m, subject to our commercial lending policy. There is a limit of £1m per business group if you fall within the Northern Ireland Protocol borrowers, with further sectoral restrictions.

Interest options:

Both variable and fixed rate loan products available.

Guarantee to the lender:

RLS loans are backed by a 70% government guarantee to Atom bank as the lender against the outstanding balance of the facility after we have completed our normal recovery process. Your business will always remain fully liable for the debt.

Up to six year loan term:

We offer commitment periods up to six years.

Multiple purposes:

The loan can be used for business investment, to refinance existing debt from another lender, and for cash flow purposes.


Assistance through RLS is regarded as a subsidy and is deemed to benefit the borrower. There is a limit on the amount of subsidy that a borrower, and its wider group, can receive over any three-year rolling period. This means that any previous subsidies you’ve accessed may reduce the amount you can borrow. You will need to provide written confirmation that receipt of an RLS loan will not lead to you exceeding this maximum amount of subsidy.

Open to new and existing customers:

We accept applications from both new and existing customers.

Personal guarantees:

A personal guarantee may be required, at our discretion, in line with our commercial lending policy. Security cannot be taken over Principal Private Residences.

Northern Ireland Protocol:

You will need to answer some questions to determine whether your business is inside or outside of the scope of the Northern Ireland Protocol. This will help to determine the relevant loan limit and potential maximum amount you can borrow under RLS.

Is my business eligible for an RLS loan?

To be eligible for an RLS loan, your business must:

  • Be UK-based in its business activity and cannot be used to support certain export related activities*
  • Provide suitable security for a secured loan in line with our commercial lending policy
  • Have a borrowing proposal that Atom would consider viable in line with our commercial lending policy in place at time of application (we may disregard concerns over short-to-medium term performance due to the uncertainty and impact of Covid-19)
  • Be willing to undertake credit and fraud checks for all applicants
  • Not be a business in difficulty that is subject to any relevant insolvency proceedings or collective insolvency procedure under national law
  • Be a small to medium sized enterprise with an annual turnover up to £45m (on a group basis, where part of a group)

Who is not eligible to apply?

  • Banks, building societies, insurers or reinsurers (excluding insurance brokers)
  • Public sector bodies
  • State funded primary or secondary schools.

* There are certain restrictions on the use of funds provided through the scheme for agriculture, fisheries and aquiculture, and road freight transport sectors for borrowers impacted by the Northern Ireland Protocol.


Want to know more? Below, you will find some of our most frequently asked questions about RLS, which may contain some of the information you’re looking for. Feel free to get in touch with us if you still have a query.

Business finance support

The British Business Bank has a range of guidance and resources available to all businesses, including content on managing your cash flow and a list of independent advice services.

If you need independent support you can contact Business Debtline, a charity who provide free debt advice for small businesses and the self-employed. Visit or call 0800 197 6026.

british business bank

The Recovery Loan Scheme is managed by the British Business Bank on behalf of, and with the financial backing of, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. British Business Bank plc is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government. It is not authorised or regulated by the PRA or the FCA.