£5bn lent to 160,000 businesses

Under the Government's Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), which launched on Monday, major lenders have approved lifelines to almost 160,000 companies, according to numbers seen by the Mail. The figures starkly demonstrate the reluctance of banks to lend under the original Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). He brought in the BBLS to fill the gap at the smaller end of the business market, allowing firms to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 at a lower cost and with no need to present complicated forecasts in their applications. Bilal Majeed, the owner of fabric shop A&M Textiles, applied for cash under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) weeks ago. The chasm between the success of the two schemes shows how desperate banks have been to avoid taking on extra risk as they support Britain's small businesses through the coronavirus pandemic. Britain's 'big five' lenders – Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC, Natwest owner RBS and Santander UK – are already expecting £6.9billion worth of loans to turn sour this year due to the pressures imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.