What is EFG Backed Finance?
EFG stands for Enterprise Finance Guarantee. This is a Government-backed business loan scheme which supports lending to viable Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with inadequate security to meet a lender’s normal requirements. In these instances, EFG can support loans if a business does not have any tangible security options to offer a lender. If you are an SME who needs a loan for investment, working capital, business growth or refinancing purposes, EFG could be an excellent option for you.
How does an EFG Government loan work?
As the name suggests, this type of loan is backed by a government guarantee which helps lenders to feel more secure. It provides a guarantee that they won’t be subject to losses or suffer in cases of bad debt. The intention behind this scheme is to help broaden the criteria of businesses obtaining finance solutions.
As with any loan, lenders will still go through a due diligence process and have a set criterion that businesses must meet before they can obtain funds. While these loans are backed by the government, they are managed and agreed entirely by the loan provider. Borrowers will also pay directly to the lender, just like a regular business loan. The difference here is that those who may not have been able to secure funding before have a higher chance of getting the money they need with the business enterprise fund.
Each EFG supported facility has a 75% guarantee from the UK government which is given to the lender, not the borrower. The borrower (i.e. you) will be entirely responsible for repaying your loan and the lender will contact you directly should you default on any payments. In this way, it is the same as a regular business finance agreement. In the event that you do default on payments, the EFG Guarantee covers 75% of the lender’s net (post-recovery) loss on principal.
What types of business finance products are available with EFG?
There are a selection of different products supported by the Enterprise Finance Guarantee. These include:
- Business loans (also known as term loans)
- Invoice Finance
- Asset Finance
- Revolving facilities (including overdrafts)
What is the eligibility for the Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme?
As the loans are accepted and determined by individual lenders, you’ll have to meet their specific lending requirements. However, there are some guidelines set by the British Business Bank that you can use to help when applying. Your small business must:
- Be operating in the UK
- Have a turnover no higher than £41 million
- Require finance for a suitable purpose for your business
- Have a viable business plan but insufficient security to offer a lender
- Operate within an eligible business sector
- Be able to prove you have not benefitted from other means of state funding exceeding €200,000 or equivalent over the past three years
Loan amounts can be applied for between £1,000 and £1.2 million and the loan repayment period should be between 3 months and 10 years.
Who provides EFG backed finance?
EFG is offered by more than 40 EFG accredited lenders across the UK including major high street banks, challenger banks, asset based lenders and specialist local lenders. The accredited EFG lender will make all decisions on eligibility for EFG, plus all other aspects of managing the EFG facility once guaranteed. Subject to the scheme parameters set by British Business Bank, lenders manage EFG within their own in-house policies and procedures. For this reason, credit assessments for an EFG Facility should be no more or less rigorous than for a regular finance option.
Most SMEs who qualify for EFG loans are not able to obtain credit in other ways. Therefore, the borrower must pay a 2% p.a. fee to contribute towards the continuation of the scheme. This will be taken from the borrower’s account via direct debit quarterly and goes directly to the government, not the lender. However, this will cease if the borrower defaults on the loan. This fee is based upon the forecast outstanding principal balance of the borrower’s EFG Facility multiplied by an annual rate of 2% and will be paid in addition to the loan repayments.
If you’re an SME who is struggling to find funding for your business developments or other financial needs, this scheme could be the ideal solution. We’ll put you in touch with the right people, ensuring your application runs smoothly and answering any questions along the way. Get in touch today for more information on the Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme. Call on 01371 870 815.