Barclays launches hunt for Covid Bounce Back Loan fraudsters


Barclays launches hunt for Covid loan fraudsters: Lender asks courts to close some 97 businesses

Barclays has taken the first steps to recover Covid loans issued to suspected fraudsters.

The lender has asked the courts to close at least 97 businesses in recent months.

Bounce Back Loans (BBL) were available for small businesses and were 100% government backed. Lenders have paid £47bn under the scheme.

Pandemic fraud: Barclays has asked the courts to close at least 97 businesses in recent months

But earlier this year it emerged the lenders had flagged £1.1billion as suspected fraud.

The final amount remains uncertain, as the Department for Business has estimated it closer to £4.9bn. Barclays have so far forecast a potential fraud of £259million.

The Mail on Sunday revealed in June how the bank planned to use legal proceedings to shut down businesses suspected of fraudulent borrowing, before handing the cases over to an insolvency firm.

It is understood that the recent legal proceedings are the first step in this process.

A Barclays spokesperson said: “In certain circumstances, including where there appears to be misappropriation of funds, formal collection action may be taken to recover taxpayers’ money.”



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