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More than £2bn lent to small businesses in 24 hours

More than 69,000 Bounce Back Loans worth over £2bn have been approved during the first 24 hours of the scheme, the chancellor has announced.

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Since the scheme went live on Monday morning, the seven largest lenders (Barclays, Danske, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS, Santander and Virgin Money) received more than 130,000 applications on the first day.

 

Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC and RBS had also received more than 180,000 applications under the Bounce Back scheme by the second day.

 

While the majority of approvals have been processed at high speed, (with customers tweeting about the pace and ease of applying), some applicants who don’t currently bank with the lenders now offering the loans raised complaints about access, while many tweeted about issues with Barclays’ online application interface.

 

Meanwhile the government this morning also gave an update on the huge scale of businesses taking up other support measures. The Treasury revealed that:

  • £8bn has been used to pay the wages of furloughed staff at 800,000 firms;
  • Nearly 700,000 business properties have benefited from £8.6bn of business grants, VAT deferrals and the scrapping of businesses rates.

Lloyds Banking Group received 32,000 applications from businesses, for loans worth a combined total of over £1bn, on the first day the scheme became available. The average loan amount was just over £30,000.

 

Gareth Oakley, managing director of business banking at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “Lending through the BBL scheme is just one way we’re supporting our business customers impacted by COVID-19. Over 14,000 businesses have had their overdrafts extended and we’ve granted over 25,000 capital repayment holidays since the pandemic began.”

 

In a meeting with MPs on Monday, Matt Hammerstein, chief executive of Barclays Bank UK said the bank had received 200 applications within the first minute of the scheme going live at 8am Monday.

 

The Federation of Small Businesses said the figures showed a promising start, but claimed that many of the most vulnerable business owners – particularly sole traders – only have personal banks accounts and, as a result, are being told they cannot access a bounce back loan.

 

Stephen Jones, chief executive of UK Finance, said: “Bank staff have been working flat out since the scheme launched on Monday morning to process applications and get money out to eligible borrowers and these figures are testament to their hard work and the commitment of the industry to support businesses of all sizes.

 

“While businesses only need to fill in a simple form online to apply, it’s important to remember that this type of finance is debt, not a government or bank grant, and will need to be repaid by the borrower over the six year term of the loan."

 

While bounce back loans are being offered by the major lenders, other alternative lenders are willing to take part. The British Business Bank has accredited eight lenders to offer the loans, but 40 have been approved to offer the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), for larger firms.

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