British Business Bank says Covid lending has hit £73bn ahead of the Budget

By Oliver Smith on Thursday 25 February 2021

Alternative Lending

Since last April, bounce Back Loans and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme have poured billions into UK businesses.

British Business Bank says Covid lending has hit £73bn ahead of the Budget
Image source: British Business Bank.

As we approach the UK Budget on 3 March, the British Business Bank today published the latest figures on its Coronavirus lending packages operating over the last 10 months.

In total, some £72.9bn has been extended by the bank and its partners, with Bounce Back Loans (BBLs) accounting for the lion’s share at £45.5bn.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and Coronavirus Larger Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) accounted for £22bn and £5.3bn, respectively.

And lastly, the Future Fund, which matched equity funding rounds with convertible loans up to £5m, reached a total of £1.1bn until applications were closed last month.

In total, there have been nearly 1.6m individual loans as part of the four packages, and about 2.4m applications made for funding.

CBILS, CLBILS and BBLs are all currently still open until 31 March, although it’s not yet clear whether Chancellor Rishi Sunak will extend the schemes given the UK will remain under Covid restrictions until at least 21 June.

Earlier this month, the Government launched a series of tweaks to the repayment of BBLs under the banner of ‘Pay As You Grow’, to help businesses spread and defer payments over a longer period.

“The scheme offers greater flexibility to businesses who may need flexibility in paying off their Bounce Back Loan and enables them to manage their repayments more effectively,” said Richard Bearman, managing director of small business lending at the British Business Bank at the time.

With few rumours so far on what Sunak has planned for BBLs and CBILS next week, today’s figures again highlight just how crucial these lending packages have been over the last year to support UK businesses.

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