£27.5bn approved to business through Govt’s schemes

Lenders have approved £27.5bn to more than 650,000 businesses so far through the three major government-backed lending schemes, UK Finance has reported.

In the past week alone, new figures published by the Treasury revealed that more than £5.4bn in lending has been provided to more than 146,000 firms through government-backed lending schemes.

UK Finance suggested the industry is providing an “unprecedented level of support” to businesses across the UK in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The trade body revealed that in two months since the launch of the first coronavirus loan scheme, lenders have approved over 650,000 facilities through the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS).

The BBLS, which is aimed at sole traders and micro businesses, has now seen £18.45bn provided by lenders, with £4.3bn being approved in the last week at an average of £615m each day. The number of loans agreed through the scheme increased by over 143,000 to 608,000.

UK Finance also stated the industry has supported 43,000 businesses through the CBILS with £8.2bn in lending, and that 154 larger firms have received finance via the CLBILS, totalling £820m. Across the two schemes, the trade body revealed this is an increase of £1.1bn over the past week, with more lending set to be approved over the coming days.

UK Finance chief executive, Stephen Jones, commented: “The banking and finance industry has a clear plan to help businesses get through these tough times.

“Lenders are providing an unprecedented level of support to firms affected by the Covid-19 crisis, with £27.5bn being approved to over 650,000 businesses through government-backed lending schemes so far, and a further £20.5bn drawn under bank arranged commercial paper facilities.

“Businesses can also access a wide package of support measures as part of the industry’s plan, including extended overdrafts, capital repayment holidays and asset-based finance.

“It’s important to remember that any lending provided under government-backed schemes is a debt not a grant, and so firms should carefully consider their ability to repay before applying.”

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