The British Business Bank has published final data on the COVID relief programs that saw £79.3 billion in government-backed loans distributed to 1.67 million businesses. The UK government created multiple lending schemes designed to support businesses impacted by the Coronavirus. Both traditional financial services firms, as well as Fintechs, helped to distribute the loans available to UK firms.
According to the Bank, 1,560,309 Bounce Back Loans (BBLS) worth £47.36 billion, 109,877 loans worth £26.39 billion through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and 753 loans worth £5.56 billion through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) were distributed. The Bounce Back Loan Scheme top-ups saw 106,660 loans have been approved worth £0.95 billion.
The Bank notes that the the proportion of overall loans in each of the nine English regions and three Devolved Nations matches closely their respective share of the UK business population. The Bank shares:
- The North West reports the largest usage of CBILs and BBLS (11%) outside London and the South East (34%), ahead of the East of England (10%).
- The data states that loan uptake across sectors with construction (17%) and wholesale and retail (15%) receiving the highest proportion of total loans.
- For CBILS, the manufacturing sector accessed a higher proportion of loans (14%) than its share of the business population (5%), followed by wholesale and retail (17% v 9.2%).
- For BBLS, the wholesale and retail sector accessed a significantly higher proportion of loans (15%) than its share of the business population (9%). The construction sector accessed the highest proportion of BBLS loans overall (17%).
Catherine Lewis La Torre, Chief Executive Officer of the British Business Bank, commented on the data:
“The Covid-19 loan schemes have been an important part of the government’s response to the pandemic, providing businesses with much-needed breathing space and reducing cash-flow concerns for many. We’re pleased to see evidence that they have helped smaller businesses right across the UK and look forward to helping more businesses to prosper and grow as we look towards economic recovery.”