Figures published by HM Treasury have shown that the banking and finance sector has so far approved over £31.3bn in loans to over 745,000 businesses through government-backed COVID loan schemes.
In comparison, an average of 275,000 loans and overdrafts were provided in total each year by the 10 largest banking groups to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the UK over the past five years.
As of 31 May, lenders had provided £21.3bn through the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), an increase of £2.8 billion over the past week.
More than 91,000 applications to COVID loan schemes were approved in the past week.
Lenders have approved £8.9bn in support through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) to almost 46,000 businesses.
This is an increase of over £750m since data was last published.
Through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS), the number of businesses that have received financial support increased by 191, totalling just over £1.1bn.
Stephen Jones, chief executive of UK Finance, 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.
“Over £31bn has been approved in government-backed lending schemes so far to almost 750,000 businesses, with a further £19bn drawn under bank-arranged commercial paper facilities.
“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.”