The banking and finance industry has approved £47.9bn to over 1.1m businesses so far through government-backed coronavirus lending schemes, according to statistics released by HM Treasury.

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) continues to provide new support to thousands of small and micro businesses every day, with 1.08m businesses having received a total of £32.8bn

Lenders have approved £12.2bn worth of facilities to 55,700 companies adversely affected by Covid-19 via the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), aimed at larger enterprises – has seen £2.9bn approved to 428 businesses.

Stephen Pegge, managing director of commercial finance at UK Finance, said: “As the economy begins to re-open, the banking and finance industry stands ready to support businesses through these challenging times.

“Almost £48bn has been approved to more than 1.1 million businesses through the government-backed lending schemes, helping to improve their cash flow and adapt to the new economic environment.

“This support is just one part of the industry’s wider plan to help businesses in the UK, including commercial lending, capital repayment holidays, extended overdrafts and asset-based finance.”

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In January 2021, data published by UK Finance, a trade body of the banking and finance industry, has revealed that gross lending to SMEs in the first three quarters of 2020 was more than double the annual total for 2019, reaching £54bn.

The data, released as part of the quarterly Business Finance Review, shows that the UK banking and finance industry has delivered an unprecedented level of support to SMEs throughout 2020. 

The value of lending in the second and third quarters was £36bn higher than during the same period of 2019 – driven by continued uptake of government-backed support.

Covid-19 schemes: BBLS & CBILS

Nationally, UK lenders have issued 229 BBLS and 10 CBILS facilities for every thousand businesses, with the number of loans approved dwarfing volumes seen in previous years as lenders met the increased demand for additional finance. 

These schemes sit alongside a broader package of support from lenders, including commercial facilities and invoice finance. Following the government’s extension of the support schemes in November, businesses that had already taken out Bounce Back loans for less than the maximum borrowing amount are able to apply for a ‘top-up’. 

UK Finance estimates that a further £600m of lending has so far been accessed through this facility.