New HM Treasury figures have revealed that the banking and finance industry has approved another £2 billion of business loans over the past month, with the figure now rising to almost £73 billion to almost  1.6 million businesses so far through government-backed coronavirus lending schemes.

Almost 29,500 Bounce Back Loans have been approved over the past month, bringing the total number of small enterprises to access the scheme to over 1.5 million since it launched in May last year. More than £45.5 billion has now been lent through this scheme. Almost 92,500 businesses have accessed £22 billion through the CBIL scheme, whilst over 700 larger firms have utilised the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, which has provided almost £5.3 billion in support.

In total, the UK banking and finance industry has supported around 27 per cent of British businesses through the government-backed coronavirus lending schemes, almost a year since the schemes were first put in place. Government-backed loans are just one part of the industry’s plan to support businesses across the UK. Lenders continue to provide a range of additional measures, including working capital extensions, overdraft extensions and capital repayment holidays. The industry will continue to support businesses over the coming year as economic uncertainty persists as a result of the pandemic.

Stephen Pegge, Managing Director of Commercial Finance at UK Finance, said “The UK’s banking and finance industry has continued to provide unprecedented levels of support to help businesses through the pandemic. The sector has delivered almost £73 billion in financial assistance to nearly 1.6 million businesses through the Government-backed loan schemes since they were put in place last year.’

“The newly outlined plans to ease lockdown restrictions mean many businesses are beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel. However, as the pandemic continues to cause significant economic uncertainty, many individual businesses and some specific sectors are facing extended disruption and may find themselves in financial difficulty in 2021. With widespread restructuring and recovery situations expected, the finance sector and related professional services are focused on the provision of capacity and expertise to help support the turnaround of companies where possible, while ensuring the sympathetic treatment of those businesses which are no longer viable.”