Finance sector provides over £1.1bn to SMEs through coronavirus lending scheme

The banking and finance sector has lent over £1.1 billion to SMEs so far through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), according to the latest data from UK Finance.

Finance sector provides over £1.1bn to SMEs through coronavirus lending scheme

But the banking body is refusing to supply a breakdown of lending by individual banks, amid suspicions that many banks are obfuscating the delivery of the business loans. It is known that over 50% of the lending has come from the taxpayer-owned RBS alone.

The data has revealed that total lending under the scheme has grown by £700 million in the last week, an increase of 150%.

A total of 6,020 loans have now been provided through CBILS, more than double the number that had been provided one week ago. The number of loans approved each day continues to rise, increasing from 240 on 2 April to 910 on 8 April, with a further 1,800 loans worth over £300m recorded over the bank holiday weekend.

Total lending under the scheme has increased rapidly from £453m on 6 April to £1.115bn a week later, while the average value of a CBILS loan has grown to over £185,000.

Lenders have received 28,460 formal applications to the scheme from businesses. Over 6,000 of these applications have been approved already, while others are still being processed and are expected to be approved over the coming days.

Staff in branches and call centres are working tirelessly to provide businesses with finance to help them get through the current economic challenges. All lenders are looking to provide support quickly and flexibly and will take into account a business’s individual circumstances in accordance with the terms of the scheme.

Stephen Jones, chief executive of UK Finance, said: “The banking and finance sector recognises the challenging conditions faced by many businesses and the critical role we must play in helping the country get through this crisis.

“Frontline staff in local branches and call centres are working incredibly hard to help firms access finance as quickly as possible amid unprecedented demand. Like all businesses, they are working at reduced capacity as many staff are self-isolating or looking after family.

“I am grateful that so many colleagues worked through the bank holiday so that over one billion pounds of support has now been delivered to businesses. We expect this figure to continue to grow rapidly as lenders work hard to help get Britain through the current crisis.”

Read all of our articles relating to COVID-19 here.

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