Coronavirus  

Govt-backed loans for smallest businesses hit £21bn

Govt-backed loans for smallest businesses hit £21bn

The 100 per cent government-backed coronavirus loan scheme intended for smaller businesses has paid out more than £21bn since its launch at the beginning of last month as hundreds of thousands of claims were made.

In an update today (June 2) the Treasury revealed more than 699,000 claims had been approved by its Bounce Back Loan Scheme, which is designed to offer funds of up to £50,000 in a matter of days to the smallest businesses struggling amid the pandemic.

In total more than 873,00 claims have been made under the scheme, but some of these applications are either still being processed, have been declined or an applicant has decided not to proceed.  

The government has backed the scheme as a fast-track option and has provided lenders with a 100 per cent guarantee on the loans, in the hope small firms which need "a vital cash injection to keep operating" can get finance in as little as 24 hours.

The government's Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, which provides lenders with a guarantee of 80 per cent on losses that may arise on loans, has approved almost £9bn worth of claims since it went live in March. 

The CBILS is designed to help viable small and medium businesses weather the coronavirus storm and has so far approved more than 45,800 of the 89,724 claims it has received. 

The government's loan scheme for bigger businesses, the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, has dealt with much smaller numbers in the six weeks it has been live to applications. 

As of the end of May the CLBILS had approved £1.1bn worth of loans and 191 claims, but had received a total of 579 applications to the scheme. 

In April the chancellor expanded the scheme to include businesses with turnovers greater than £500m, with large firms able to apply for up to £25m of finance and a loan of up to £50m for those with a turnover of more than £250m. 

rachel.mortimer@ft.com 

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