The banking and finance industry has supported more than one million businesses through the three government-backed lending schemes in just over three months, figures published by HM Treasury today have revealed.

Almost 1.02 million facilities worth £42.9 billion have been approved through the Coronavirus Businesses Interruption Loans Scheme (CBILS), Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) and Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS).

The support demonstrates the significant steps taken by lenders to make sure viable businesses of all sizes have access to the support they need to get through these challenging times.

To put the one million milestone in context, in the past five years the ten largest banking groups have approved an average of 275,000 loans and overdrafts each year to UK SMEs, equivalent to 70,000 facilities every three months.2The one million government-backed facilities approved over three months is around 14 times higher than this quarterly average, as lenders work hard to meet unprecedented demand for finance from SMEs.

Bounce Back Loans have had continued success, with £29.5 billion having been approved so far, reaching 967,000 businesses. Just over 46,000 businesses have been provided finance this week worth £1.4 billion.

In just over three months since it was introduced, the banking and finance industry has approved 52,000 facilities through the CBIL scheme, totaling £11.1 billion.

The CLBIL scheme, designed for the UK’s larger businesses, has seen 359 firms receive £2.3 billion over the period.

These figures come after recent research for UK Finance by BVA BDRC revealed that almost 90 per cent of SMEs have had their applications for a Bounce Bank Loan (BBL) or Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (CBILS) facility approved where a final decision has been made.3

The figures mean that one in six of the UK’s 5.9 million private sector businesses have received support from lenders through one of the three government-backed coronavirus lending schemes. The banking and finance industry is also providing businesses with other forms of support including working capital extensions, overdraft extensions and capital repayment deferrals, as part of its plan to help firms of all sizes get through the crisis.

Stephen Pegge, Managing Director of Commercial Finance at UK Finance, said “These figures shine a light on the unprecedented levels of support from lenders to help get businesses through these challenging times.”

“The fact that over one million businesses are receiving support through the coronavirus loan schemes is a credit to bank staff up and down the country who have worked tirelessly to get finance to those who need it.”

“Almost £43 billion has now been approved through these schemes, in addition to the industry’s broad package of support for businesses including overdraft extensions and capital repayment deferrals.”

“Businesses should remember that any lending provided under government-backed schemes is a debt not a grant, and so should carefully consider their ability to repay before applying.”