26th February 2021

Banking and finance industry supports almost 1.6 million businesses through COVID-19 loan schemes

HM Treasury figures published yesterday show that the UK’s banking and finance industry has provided almost £73bn in finance to more than 1.6 million businesses across the country through government-backed coronavirus lending schemes.

Almost 29,500 Bounce Back Loans have been approved over the past month, bringing the total number of small enterprises to access the scheme to over 1.5 million since it launched in May last year. More than £45.5bn has now been lent through this scheme. These totals include businesses which have opted to ‘top-up’ their Bounce Back Loans to the full £50,000, or a maximum of 25% of their turnover if lower, available through the scheme.

Almost 92,500 businesses have accessed £22bn through the CBIL scheme, whilst over 700 larger firms have utilised the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, which has provided almost £5.3bn in support.
In total, the UK banking and finance industry has supported around 27% of British businesses through the government-backed coronavirus lending schemes, almost a year since the schemes were first put in place. The vast majority of firms in the UK have an existing relationship with at least one of the 29 lenders accredited to the BBL scheme, or the 118 lenders now accredited to the CBIL scheme.

Stephen Pegge, Managing Director of Commercial Finance at UK Finance, comments “The UK’s banking and finance industry has continued to provide unprecedented levels of support to help businesses through the pandemic. The sector has delivered almost £73bn in financial assistance to nearly 1.6 million businesses through the government-backed loan schemes since they were put in place last year.

“The newly outlined plans to ease lockdown restrictions mean many businesses are beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel. However, as the pandemic continues to cause significant economic uncertainty, many individual businesses and some specific sectors are facing extended disruption and may find themselves in financial difficulty in 2021. With widespread restructuring and recovery situations expected, the finance sector and related professional services are focused on the provision of capacity and expertise to help support the turnaround of companies where possible, while ensuring the sympathetic treatment of those businesses which are no longer viable.”

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