Treasury figures released today (May 19) show that around 500,000 UK businesses are now using government-guaranteed emergency loans, to the value of £22bn, while eight million jobs have been furloughed.
The chancellor revealed that over 464,000 businesses have been approved for the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), borrowing a combined £14bn, while more than 40,500 firms have taken up a combined £7.2bn under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).
Some eight million jobs have now been furloughed with £11.bn claimed so far under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. More recently, two million claims have been submitted worth £6bn for the Self Employment Income Support Scheme.
Announcing the numbers, chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Our plan to support businesses and individuals is one of the most comprehensive in the world. As these figures show, we are currently supporting millions of workers and businesses through these tough times so we can recover as quickly as possible.”
He also revealed that the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) has seen 86 approved loans totalling around £590m.
Stephen Jones, chief executive of UK Finance, said: “The banking and finance industry is committed to helping businesses get through these tough times. These are just one part of a range of measures from the industry available to businesses including extended overdrafts, capital repayment holidays and asset-based finance.”
Further changes to the schemes include an extension of the maximum loan size available through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, from £50m to £200 million. The expanded loans, introduced following discussions with lenders and business groups, will be available from May 26.
The number of lenders accredited by the British Business Bank under the schemes continues to rise. Businesses can now access finance through CBILS from nearly 70 providers and BBLS from 17 lenders. When bounce back loans were launched, more than £2bn of loans were approved in the first 24 hours.
The fate of businesses potentially dependent on government-guaranteed loans will be a key theme at Credit Strategy’s Lending Summit later this year.