CBI faces autumn deadline to refinance bailout

The CBI faces a deadline next September to refinance millions of pounds of funding put in place to stave off its collapse during the autumn.

Sky News has learned that a seven-figure facility set up with banks will expire at the end of the third quarter next year.

Although the size of the facility is unclear, sources have said it is likely to be multi-million pound.

According to the business lobby group’s annual report and accounts, circulated to members late last week, it was able to survive the aftermath of a sexual abuse scandal “through the support of key members, the use of reserves, support from creditors and with bank financing”.

“The bank financing is due to terminate on 30 September 2024, after which it is the board’s current intention to seek to renew the facility if necessary.

“The extraordinary costs of the past year have now been paid and the organization has been reshaped so that labor costs are appropriate given the expected level of revenue.”

On Friday, Sky News revealed that the CBI urged members to swallow a further increase in fees, even as it struggles to regain its former position among political leaders and business leaders.

Members will be asked at its annual meeting this week to approve a 5% increase in their subscription costs.

Billing itself as “the voice of British business”, the CBI has been slowly rebuilding its reputation, staging a slimmed-down version of its annual conference last month, which featured a speech by Jeremy Hunt, the chancellor.

The group has cut costs by shedding part of its workforce and closing most of its overseas offices after several rape allegations against former employees sparked an exodus of corporate members including Aviva and the John Lewis Partnership.

Tony Danker, its chief executive – who was accused of inappropriate behavior but had nothing to do with the more serious allegations – resigned in April weeks after being suspended.

The CBI briefly entertained talks in the autumn about a merger with Make UK, the manufacturers’ body, but these have now been curtailed.

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