Tide Bounce Back Loans / Update 1 / A letter to all members from Oliver, our CEO

Oliver Prill, Tide CEO

Today our CEO, Oliver Prill, has written this open letter to all Tide members:

Dear Tide members,

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we understand the extreme pressure being placed on Tide members and small businesses in general. 

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme is a brilliant scheme introduced by the Government to support small businesses and give them some help to rebound from this crisis. We’re very pleased to support this scheme by delivering these loans to our members. 

I’m extremely proud of the team at Tide for the dedication it’s taken to be accredited to deliver Bounce Back Loans, to build the technology to run the scheme in a matter of days, and to work all hours to respond to questions from our members.

I understand that thousands of you need these loans as quickly as possible. I can assure you that we’re working as hard as we can to get through the waiting list as soon as possible.

I’d like to thank you for your patience as we phase the delivery of Bounce Back Loans. To explain what’s happening and to hopefully provide some reassurance, here’s what’s been going on behind the scenes and what you can do now:

What’s happening behind the scenes at Tide

1. We became an accredited lender

In March, the Chancellor announced support for SMEs in the Budget. We immediately expressed our interest in becoming an accredited lender for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). We pursued this application until the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) was announced in April. This scheme is much better suited to our members so we switched our application.

Our team worked day and night, through weekends, with the British Business Bank to gain this accreditation. We were accredited on Friday 15 May 2020.

2. We opened for registrations 

After gaining accreditation on Friday 15 May, we had a waiting list ready so members and non-members could register interest. As expected, thousands of you are interested in getting a Bounce Back Loan from us. We wanted to be transparent that we can’t guarantee we’ll be able to offer loans to everyone who registers, so we stated this on the registration page.

We worked over the weekend with the British Business Bank to get everything ready to deliver loans to Tide members. On the evening of Monday 18 May, we received our allocation letter from the British Business Bank, allowing us to start issuing loans. 

On Tuesday 19 May, we offered the first Tide Bounce Back Loans to members.

3. We’re now offering loans in batches

Over 40,000 businesses joined our waiting list in a matter of days. As you can imagine, we can’t immediately offer Bounce Back Loans to this number of you at once, so we’re taking a phased approach to lending to ensure compliance with the scheme rules, a smooth process and refinancing of the loans.

As with all new features, we need to make sure we scale effectively to offer the best experience for our members to access the loans. As always, we beta-launched with a select number of limited companies who had been Tide members for a while, before making the loans available more widely. 

We’re now working through our waiting list as quickly as we can. Unfortunately, we still can’t guarantee everyone who registers will be able to get a loan from us but we’re working hard to make the loans available to as many of you as possible, as well as providing more clarity on timelines. We believe that over the upcoming days and weeks we’ll be able to issue substantial volumes of Bounce Back Loans to our members. 

We understand that there are concerns around sole traders accessing Bounce Back Loans. Recent legal changes mean that we’re now allowed to lend to sole traders and we’re working to make these loans available to our sole trader members as soon as possible. 

Additionally, we’ve allocated more Tideans (Tide staff) to help answer the many questions you’re asking us. If you have a question, you can help us by first taking a look at the FAQs to see if we’ve already answered your question: Tide | Bounce Back Loans | FAQs

When your offer is ready, you’ll need to self-certify

When a Bounce Back Loan is available for you, you’ll receive an app notification and email to say your offer is ready and what to do next. The payout in most cases is instant, after you successfully complete the self-certification and choose the amount you wish to borrow, up to your Bounce Back Loan limit.

Unlike the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, to get a Bounce Back Loan a business owner must self-certify that they’re eligible. You can check your eligibility here:
Tide | FAQ: Is my business eligible for the Bounce Back Loan Scheme?

Lenders also carry out ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) and fraud checks. We do many of these checks when you join Tide so for most members, you’ll just need to successfully complete the self-certification, which requires you to confirm some facts about your business.

What you can do now

  • If you’re already a Tide member…

    If you’ve registered your interest for a Tide Bounce Back Loan and haven’t heard from us yet, don’t worry, you’re still on our waiting list. When we’re able to offer you a loan, we’ll send you a message. 

    If you haven’t yet registered your interest it’s not too late. Go to tide.co/bouncebackloans and submit the email address associated with your Tide account.

  • If you’re not yet a Tide member…

    You’ll need to open a Tide account before we can give you access to a Bounce Back Loan. You’ll also need to join the waiting list.

    If you’ve already joined the waiting list but aren’t yet a member, when you sign up for an account with us, make sure you use the same email address you used to register your interest in a Bounce Back Loan from us.

    The Tide account doesn’t need to be your primary account and you don’t need to switch your main business account, but you’ll need to make your repayments from your Tide account.

While you’re waiting to hear from us, please bear in mind:

  • Thousands of you have registered
    The high demand means that we can’t guarantee everyone who registers will be able to get a loan. You might want to consider other options for funding such as joining a waiting list with another lender.
  • We’re working through the waiting list
    If you’ve submitted your email address to register your interest, don’t worry, you’re on the waiting list. There’s no need to message us to check. We’ll send you an app notification and email when you can access a Bounce Back Loan.
  • Our Member Support team is working round the clock
    We understand many of you urgently need financial help but we ask that you help us by looking at our FAQs to find answers to your questions. We’ve had so many in-app messages this week, it’s taking us longer than usual to reply but if you do need to message us, we’ll reply as soon as we can. 

To all Tide members, I give you my sincere thanks for remaining patient and understanding while we’re all hands on deck working all hours to help you. I’m proud of Team Tide’s combined efforts, working remotely and in such a short time, to deliver Bounce Back Loans to as many of you as soon as possible. 

We stand with you,

Oliver

Oliver Prill, Tide CEO

Update: Oliver’s second letter updating you on our Bounce Back Loans is available now:
Tide Bounce Back Loans / Update 2 / A letter to all members from Oliver, our CEO