Small businesses struggling under coronavirus pressures have been handed £1.45bn in government backed loans in just one week, more than double the loans previously provided since the scheme began in March.
UK Finance, the trade association for the UK banking and financial services sector, said that lenders paid out the funds to around 9,000 companies in the seven days to 21st April. Before this, lenders had only given out around £1.1bn to about 6,000 small businesses since the scheme was launched on 23rd March. Peter Dobson, Managing Director at PMD Business Finance, commented:
“At first glance it would appear the CBILS system is starting to take effect but when you analyse these figures closely it is not. There are 5.9m SMEs in the UK, so 15,000 successful applications for CBILS, in a five-week period, only represents 0.25% penetration.
“Thankfully, the British Business Bank has recently accredited more alternative lenders to offer CBILS, most of whom will use their broker networks. I am positive these figures will rapidly improve over the coming weeks and months. The British Chamber of Commerce claims that a UK SME is 33% more likely to successfully receive critical funding via an intermediary than approaching a lender directly. The combination of the proactive broker market and new CBILS lenders entering the market should improve these numbers considerably.”
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is managed by the British Business Bank on behalf of, and with the financial backing of the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). British Business Bank plc is wholly owned by HM Government and is not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Full details on CBILS and the list of participating CBILS lenders can be found on the British Business Bank website at: www.british-business-bank.co.uk/CBILS