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The UK Treasury has revealed that up to 31 May lenders had provided funding for some 750,000 businesses, which totalled over £31 billion, through government-backed loan schemes.

In the final week of May alone, more than £3.8 billion in lending was provided to 94,000 firms through these schemes. More applications have been received and are expected to be approved throughout June.

UK Finance confirms that this represents an unparalleled level of support from the industry. Since the launch of the first coronavirus support scheme in late March, over 745,000 facilities have been approved by lenders through the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) in a little over two months.

In comparison, an average of 275,000 loans and overdrafts were provided in total each year by the 10 largest banking groups to UK SMEs over the past five years.

As of 31 May, lenders have provided £21.3 billion through the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), an increase of £2.8 billion over the past week. Over 91,000 applications were approved in the past week.

Lenders have approved £8.9 billion in support through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) to almost 46,000 businesses. This is an increase of over £750 million since data was last published.

More support has also been made available for larger and medium sized businesses in the UK through the CLBILS. The number of businesses that have received financial support increased by 191, totalling just over £1.1 billion.

These government-backed schemes are just part of the banking and finance sector’s plan to help businesses in the UK through the coronavirus crisis. This extensive support includes:

  • working capital extensions;
  • overdraft extensions;
  • capital repayment holidays; and
  • asset-based finance,

Thus allowing businesses to access the support that is most appropriate to their needs.

Stephen Jones, chief executive of UK Finance, (pictured above) said: “These figures show that the banking and finance sector is committed to playing its part in helping businesses across the UK through these tough times.

“The amount of support available to firms affected by the Covid-19 crisis is unparalleled. But government-backed loans are not the only support the banking and finance sector has made available. Over the last few months, lenders have put in place a clear plan to support businesses in every region of the country, including through offering extended overdrafts, capital repayment holidays and asset-based finance to businesses that need support.

"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.

UK Finance is a “collective voice for the banking and finance industry” and represents more than 250 firms across the industry.

It aims for its members to promote a safe, transparent and innovative banking and finance industry. It offers research, policy expertise, thought leadership and advocacy in support of their work.

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