Banks double amount of loans issued under CBILS

Ryan Fowler

April 15, 2020

Banks have issued a total of 6,020 loans worth £1.1bn through the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme (CBILS), according to UK Finance.

The number of applications that have been approved has doubled over the past week with UK Finance adding that around 21% of the 28,460 formal applications are now rubber-stamped.

However, there have reportedly been 300,000 informal inquiries about the scheme, as small and medium sized businesses scramble for financial support during the lockdown.

The CBILs scheme has been hit by critiscism with banks being slammed for asking for personal guarantees (now banned) and offering commercial loans at high rates – rather than CBILS loans.

The Treasury has since changed its criteria in order to get money out more quickly.

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.”

Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, added: “Getting finance to businesses is a key part of our plan to support jobs and the economy during this crisis – and we’re working with lenders to ensure support reaches those in need as soon as physically possible.

“Loan approvals have doubled in a week with more than 6,000 businesses benefiting from over £1.1bn of loans – and it’s vital we continue this upward trajectory.”

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