Following complaints that firms were finding the UK’s coronavirus business loan scheme difficult to access, it appears to have picked up pace as UK Finance announced that a total of £1.1bn has been provided to just over 6,000 SMEs as of Tuesday April 14. Total lending under the scheme has grown by £700m in the last week, following Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s decision to remove red tape. UK Finance chief executive Stephen Jones said he was “grateful that so many colleagues worked through the bank holiday so that over £1bn of support has now been delivered,” adding that he expects the figure to “continue to grow rapidly”.
Speaking before the Treasury Select Committee of MPs, Mr Jones also suggested that the process of lending to firms could be speeded up if the government fully guaranteed the loans, removing the 20% risk banks take on. Former Chancellor Sajid Javid has ba cked the idea. He said that even though he feels that banks should have “some skin in the game,” the “unprecedented” nature of the crisis means the Treasury should consider the move.
Read more : City AM Financial Times