29th May 2020

Lenders provide 650,000 UK businesses with £27.5bn in finance through COVID-19 schemes

Figures published by HM Treasury reveal how the banking and finance sector is helping businesses of all sizes get through these tough times.
Lenders have approved £27.5 billion to more than 650,000 businesses so far through the three major government-backed lending schemes.

The industry is providing an unprecedented level of support to businesses across the UK in response to the COVID-19 crisis. In just 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).

In the past week alone, more than £5.4bn in lending has been provided to over 146,000 firms through government-backed lending schemes. This decisive action by lenders to support businesses affected by the coronavirus crisis is part of the industry’s plan to get Britain through these challenging times.

The Bounce Back Loan scheme-aimed at sole traders and micro businesses-has seen £18.45bn provided by lenders. £4.3bn has been approved in the last week, an average of £615m each day. The number of loans agreed through the scheme increased by over 143,000 to 608,000.

The industry has supported 43,000 businesses through the CBIL scheme with £8.2bn in lending. 154 larger firms have received finance via the CLBIL scheme, totaling £820m. Across the two schemes this is an increase of £1.1bn over the past week, with more lending set to be approved over the coming days.

These government-backed schemes are just one part of the banking and finance sector’s plan to help businesses get through these tough times, with the industry also providing working capital facilities, overdraft extensions, capital repayment holidays and asset-based finance.

Stephen Jones, Chief Executive of UK Finance, comments “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 £27.5 billion 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.”

The British Business Bank accredited six more lenders for the CBIL scheme, giving firms a wide range of choice of more than 70 institutions from high street banks to alternative finance providers. As of WEdnesday, following changes announced by the government, businesses are now able to borrow up to £200m under the CLBIL scheme.
Lending provided through any of the government-backed coronavirus lending schemes are debts not grants, and businesses have a legal commitment to make every effort to repay these loans.