745,000 businesses backed by £31.3bn through COVID-19 loan schemes

Lenders have approved more than £31.3bn to 745,000 businesses through government-backed schemes so far, new figures published by the Treasury have revealed.

The latest figures also showed that in the past week alone, more than £3.8bn in lending has been provided to 94,000 firms through these schemes.

UK Finance suggested the latest numbers represent an “unparalleled level of support” from the industry. Since the launch of the first coronavirus support scheme in late March, the banking body added that over 745,000 facilities have been approved by lenders through the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS).

By comparison, an average of 275,000 loans and overdrafts were provided in total each year by the ten largest banking groups to UK SMEs over the past five years.

As of 31 May, the Treasury’s figures also showed that lenders have provided £21.3bn through the BBLS, an increase of £2.8bn over the past week, with over 91,000 applications were approved in the past week.

Through the CBILS, lenders have approved £8.9bn in support to almost 46,000 business, an increase of over £750m since the data was last published, while support for larger and medium sized businesses through the CLBILS has now totalled £1.1bn across 191 firms.

UK Finance chief executive, Stephen Jones, commented: “These figures show that the banking and finance sector is committed to playing its part in helping businesses across the UK through these tough times.

“The amount of support available to firms affected by the COVID-19 crisis is unparalleled. Over £31bn has been approved in government-backed lending schemes so far to almost 750,000 businesses, with a further £19bn drawn under bank-arranged commercial paper facilities.

“But government-backed loans are not the only support the banking and finance sector has made available. Over the last few months, lenders have put in place a clear plan to support businesses in every region of the country, including through offering extended overdrafts, capital repayment holidays and asset-based finance to businesses that need support.

“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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