Coronavirus lending schemes support over 1.5 million UK businesses


Figures published today by HM Treasury show that over 1.5 million businesses across the country are supported by the UK’s banking and finance industry with a total of over £68 billion in lending through government-backed coronavirus lending schemes.

Over 34,500 small and micro businesses have accessed a Bounce Back Loan over the past month, with more than 1.4 million enterprises receiving finance through the scheme since it launched in May. This total includes more than 62,000 businesses which have opted to ‘top-up’ their Bounce Back Loans to the full £50,000, or a maximum of 25 per cent of their turnover if lower, available through the scheme.

Over 82,000 businesses have now secured facilities through the CBIL scheme, whilst the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme has allowed 675 larger firms to access almost £5 billion worth of support.

There are 28 lenders accredited to the BBL scheme, with the vast majority of businesses having an existing relationship with one of these firms. 113 lenders are now accredited to the CBIL scheme.

Government-backed loans are just one part of the industry’s plan to support businesses across the UK. Lenders continue to provide a range of additional measures, including working capital extensions, overdraft extensions and capital repayment holidays. The industry will continue to support businesses next year as they adapt to changes following the end of the Brexit transition period, and economic uncertainty persists as a result of the pandemic.

Stephen Pegge, Managing Director of Commercial Finance at UK Finance, said:

“The UK’s banking and finance industry continues to support businesses of all sizes across the country to help them through these challenging times.

“As this year draws to a close, over 1.5 million businesses are supported by a government-guaranteed loan scheme with funds totaling over £68 billion, demonstrating the unprecedented level of assistance provided to UK enterprises. Over the past nine months, bank staff have worked hard to process applications to meet extremely high levels of demand, while ensuring that the necessary anti-fraud and money laundering checks are carried out on all applications.

“As the impact of the pandemic continues to be felt by businesses across the country and particularly in areas facing greater restrictions, the chancellor’s announcement today that the application deadline for the schemes is being extended to the end of March 2021 will give more time for firms to access the finance they need. In addition, SMEs can also ‘top-up’ their Bounce Back Loan to the maximum value of £50,000, or 25 per cent of their turnover if lower and businesses are encouraged to contact their lender if they wish to access these additional funds from their existing loan.

“It is 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.”

Following an announcement from the chancellor this afternoon, businesses can now apply for finance under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, or the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme until the end of March 2021. These had been due to close at the end of January.