The banking and finance sector has provided over £2.8bn of lending to SMEs so far through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), as part of a broad package of support for UK businesses, according to the latest data published by UK Finance.

CBILS is targeted at SMEs with a turnover below £45m and is administered through the British Business Bank (BBB) and offers term loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance.

Total lending under CBILS has doubled in the week from 14 to 21 April, with an increase of £1.45bn.

Over 9,000 loans have been provided in the same period, with the total number approved increasing by almost 120 per cent to over 16,600.

Lenders have received over 36,000 completed applications so far.

16,624 of these applications have been approved to date, while others are still being processed and may be approved over the coming days.

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By GlobalData

Bank staff are working hard to help viable businesses access the support they need to get them through these challenging times.

Over half the total number of loans provided through CBILS have been approved in the past eight days alone.

In addition to the finance being made available through CBILS, lenders continue to provide capital repayment holidays, overdrafts and working capital extensions to help businesses manage their costs where these arrangements are appropriate.

The industry has also taken steps to give additional support to those businesses who are furloughing their employees.

Where possible, lenders will look to provide support to firms that have successfully applied for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help them manage their cash flow while they await receipt of a grant from the scheme.

Stephen Jones, chief executive of UK Finance, said: “The banking and finance sector understands the critical role we have in helping businesses through these tough times.

“Frontline staff have been working tirelessly to get money to those viable businesses that need it as quickly as possible, with over £2.8bn of lending provided to 16,000 firms so far.

“This lending forms part of a broad package of support provided to SMEs including additional loans, capital repayment holidays, extended overdrafts and asset-based finance.

“We know businesses want to look after their most important resource – their people – and so lenders are offering additional support to firms awaiting grants from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

“We stand ready to support many more businesses in the weeks ahead, and will continue to work closely with the government to ensure businesses can access the support they need.”