April 23, 2020 / 8:53 AM / a month ago

UK lenders provide 2.8 billion pounds in emergency COVID loans

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s banks have provided 2.8 billion pounds ($3.5 billion)in emergency loans to small and medium-sized companies under a government-backed scheme to help businesses survive the coronavirus lockdown, an industry group said on Thursday.

UK Finance said total lending under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) had grown by 1.45 billion pounds in the week from April 14.

Some businesses have said they have struggled to use the scheme to get access to cash quickly.

UK Finance said lenders have received over 36,000 completed applications so far, of which 16,624 had been approved to date.

Last week Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey urged banks to speed up their handling of applications.

Reporting by Andy Bruce; editing by Sarah Young

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