Coronavirus loans lent to businesses reach £1.1bn

Coronavirus loans lent to businesses reach £1.1bn
Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events

Posted: Wed 15th Apr 2020

Banks and other lenders have provided £1.1bn in loans to small businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

UK Finance, the trade body for the UK's banking and finance industry, released the figures and said total lending under the scheme has grown by 150% to £700m in the last week.

A total of 6,020 loans have been provided so far with the number of daily loans rising from 240 on 2 April to 910 on 8 April.

It has been reported that there have been over 300,000 enquiries for funding but UK Finance said there has been 28,461 formal applications. That figure includes approved applications, those still being processed, declined applications and applications that may turn out not to be eligible or where businesses decide not to proceed.

CBILS data 15 April 2020, UK Finance
The latest figures follow criticism that entrepreneurs are struggling to access funding with long waits for a decision on applications.

Several business owners have also told Enterprise Nation that lenders are only accepting loans from existing customers and not providing funding below £25,000.

UK Finance admitted there is a time lag before applications are approved and during a webinar on Wednesday organised by Festival of Enterprise, Simon Dawson from NatWest said he has spoken to business owners this week who first applied in late March.

He also confirmed that NatWest is providing loans from £5,000 and will take applications from non-customers if their own bank is not part of CBILS.

The scheme was launched on 23 March with more than 40 accredited lenders. New banks have since been approved including Starling Bank and The Co-operative Bank.

Businesses turning over less than £45m can access loans and overdrafts of up to £5m that are fee and interest-free for 12 months. The government supplies an 80% guarantee to encourage lenders to provide funding but borrowers remain 100% liable for the loans.

To help speed up loan approvals, there have been calls, including by Labour's shadow business secretary Ed Miliband, for the government to increase its guarantee to 100%. In Germany, a similar scheme provides a full guarantee.

Speaking during the government's coronavirus daily update on Tuesday, chancellor Rishi Sunak said he was open to discussing the idea.

UK Finance said beginning on 23 April, it will release new CBILS data every Thursday.

Read a guide on applying for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme here.

The latest coronavirus support information

We are keeping you updated on the latest information on how to access the government's coronavirus business support here. You can also find advice and ask a question on Enterprise Nation's coronavirus business advice hub. Follow Enterprise Nation on Twitter too for updates.

Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events
I'm a freelance content creator and event host who helps small businesses and the organisations that support them. I have 18 years of experience as a small business journalist having interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs from billionaires like Sir Richard Branson to the founders behind brand new start-ups. I've worked for a range of leading small business publications and support groups, most recently as head of content at Enterprise Nation where I was responsible for the prolific output of content on the company's blog and social media. I'm based in Bristol where I run and host regular events with the local small business community and have strong connections to major business organisations in the south west region. In total, I've hosted over 50 events; from intimate meet-ups to conferences with an audience of hundreds including events for international brands like Facebook and Xero. I'm also a big fan of podcasts having hosted Enterprise Nation's Small Business Sessions as well as lots of online events including Facebook Live interviews, webinars and three live web chats from inside 10 Downing Street. With my partner, I co-run Lifestyle District, a lifestyle blog focused on culture, art, theatre and photography. I'm here to help. I'm volunteering free advice calls of up to an hour as part of the Recovery Advice for Business scheme, over the next 6 months. Please get in touch to see how I can help your business. 

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