910,000 UK businesses have borrowed £38BN to get through Covid 19 crisis


More than 910,000 businesses have now been helped by the banking and finance industry through the government’s coronavirus loan schemes.

Figures published by HM Treasury today reveal that lenders have provided £38.2 billion through the three major government-backed lending programmes. £3.3 billion has been approved to 83,000 businesses in the past week, with more applications expected to be approved in the coming days as the industry continues to help the UK get through these tough times.

These figures come as recent research for UK Finance by BVA BDRC revealed that almost 90 per cent of SMEs have had their applications for a Bounce Bank Loan (BBL) or Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (CBILS) facility approved where a final decision has been made.2

The industry has provided loans to over 860,000 businesses through the BBL scheme since the support was launched six weeks ago – an average of more than 140,000 approvals each week. These businesses have been approved for over £26.3 billion in total, including £2.6 billion in the last week.

Lenders have approved an additional £550 million through CBILS in the week since data was last published, reaching 1,600 businesses. In total, £10.1 billion has been lent through the scheme to 49,000 firms across the UK.

For larger businesses, £1.8 billions has been approved via the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) to 279 firms, including 35 new approvals in the past seven days.

These government-backed schemes are part of the banking and finance sector’s plan to help businesses in the UK through the coronavirus crisis. The research by BVA BDRC found that finance delivered through CBILS and BBLS is reaching those businesses who need it most, with 58 per cent of businesses who have secured funding from the two schemes saying they have less than three months in cash reserves, compared to an average of 39 per cent across all businesses. Over three quarters (78 per cent) of business owners who have received a government-backed loan have done or are planning to put some of their personal finances into their business, whilst across all businesses 39 per cent of owners have already done so or are planning to use their own funds.

In addition to the government lending schemes, the industry is providing extensive support to businesses including working capital extensions, overdraft extensions, capital repayment deferrals and asset-based finance, allowing them to access the support that is most appropriate to their needs.

Stephen Jones, CEO of UK Finance, said: “Businesses of all sizes are facing unprecedented challenges in the face of the pandemic, but the banking and finance industry has a clear plan to get them through.

“Lenders have provided over 910,000 businesses with £38 billion through the government-backed lending schemes to date, with tens of thousands of approvals every day, ensuring financial support reaches those firms who need it most.

“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.”