Banking sector provides £4.1bn to SMEs through Govt scheme

The banking and finance sector has provided over £4.1bn to SMEs through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) so far, according to new figures from UK Finance.

The trade association revealed more than £1.33bn of loans had been approved in the week from 21 April to 28 April 2020, while the number of loans provided through the scheme has increased by 8,638 over the same period to a total of 25,262 – an increase of over 50%.

UK Finance suggested the sector has been providing a range of support to SMEs to ensure they can receive the help most appropriate to their needs, which includes capital repayment holidays, overdrafts, working capital extensions as well as asset-based finance.

The latest figures also showed that lenders have received 52,807 completed applications under the CBILS so far, with 25,262 of these applications having been approved to date. UK Finance added that more applications are still being processed and are expected to be approved over the coming days.

UK Finance chief executive, Stephen Jones, said: “The banking and finance sector recognises the role we must play in getting the country through these tough times, and staff are working incredibly hard to get money to those viable businesses that need it.

“More than £4bn has been delivered to over 25,000 businesses so far through the CBIL scheme, as part of a broad package of support for SMEs including capital repayment holidays, extended overdrafts and asset-based finance.

“The changes to the scheme announced by the Chancellor this week will enable lenders to streamline their application processes and help even more businesses access the support they need.

“This extensive support will be complemented by the new Bounce Back Loans scheme targeted at smaller businesses, which lenders are now working at pace to get up and running from Monday.”

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