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, wearing a mask, using an IPad to make a transaction

What is the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS)?

The Recovery Loan Scheme can facilitate a Government-backed secured loan to deliver essential finance to your business if you’re struggling to recover from, or grow your business, following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Business growth is a key aim for this scheme — the RLS loan doesn't just benefit businesses struggling following the pandemic, it helps support businesses looking to further their current growth.

If you take out a RLS loan, you can use it for key purposes, like cashflow, investment, and growth. It is designed to support businesses that can afford to take out additional finance for these purposes. A key aim of the Recovery Loan Scheme is to improve the terms on offer to businesses, but if a lender can offer a business the choice of a commercial loan on better terms, without requiring the guarantee provided by the RLS, they should do so.

If you have previously taken out Government-backed financial assistance through CBILS, CLBILS, or BBLS facilities, you are still eligible to apply for finance under the RLS, provided you meet all other eligibility criteria.

At the Autumn Budget 2021, the Government announced that the Recovery Loan Scheme will be extended by six months to 30th June 2022, with changes applying to all offers made from the 1st January 2022.

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 how hard it’s been for small businesses in recent times, which is why we helped you access the Government’s Coronavirus Business Loan Interruption Scheme (CBILS) when it was available. Now, we now want to continue that support by offering secured business loans through the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS).

We have been accredited to provide RLS loans by the British Business Bank. This means we can provide your business with Government-backed secured loans that are designed to not only help your business get back on its feet, but to help it grow into the future.

Business owner checking her phone whilst unpacking boxes from the back of a van

The Recovery Loan Scheme will help you apply for a secured business loan of a minimum of £250,000 up to a maximum of £2m per business (maximum £6m per group), subject to our commercial lending policy

We offer commitment periods of up to six years

Variable and fixed rate secured loans available

You can apply whether you are a new or existing Atom customer

The loan can be used for business investment, to refinance existing debt, and for cashflow purposes

Is my business eligible for an RLS loan?

If your business fits the following criteria, your broker should be able to start an RLS loan application on your behalf.

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

  • Be UK-based in its business activity
  • Self-certify that it has been impacted by COVID-19
  • Provide suitable security for a secured loan in line with Atom’s commercial lending policy
  • Have a borrowing proposal which Atom would consider viable in line with our commercial lending policy in place at time of application
  • Be willing to undertake credit and fraud checks for all applicants
  • Generate more than 50% of its turnover from trading activity
  • As defined by the British Business Bank, trading activity for the Recovery Loan Scheme is any trading or commercial activity that generates turnover. the sale of goods or services. Rental income (as long as it is UK based) is classified as a service income and is acceptable for the Recovery Loan Scheme.
  • Not be subject to any relevant insolvency proceedings or collective insolvency procedure under national law.
  • Your business must be a small to medium sized enterprise with an annual turnover of less than £45m.

You won’t be able to apply for a RLS loan if you are a:

  • Bank, building society, insurer or reinsurer (excluding insurance brokers)
  • Public sector body
  • State funded primary or secondary school.

Apply for the Recovery Loan Scheme?

Think an RLS loan could help your business? Then you can speak to a commercial broker who works with Atom to go over the details and check if the Recovery Loan Scheme is right for you. They will then make an application on your behalf and assist you through each step of the process.


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.