July 21, 2020 / 9:15 AM / 25 days ago

UK government-backed COVID lending reaches 48 billion pounds

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak arrives at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), ahead of a cabinet meeting to be held at the FCO, for the first time since the COVID-19 lockdown in London, Britain July 21, 2020. Stefan Rousseau/Pool via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - British businesses have taken out 48 billion pounds ($61 billion) in government-backed COVID-19 loans, up from 46 billion pounds a week earlier, finance ministry data showed on Tuesday.

The largest scheme, which offers lenders a 100% state guarantee on loans of up to 50,000 pounds to businesses, has lent 32.79 billion pounds to 1.084 million firms, a billion pounds more than the week before.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has paid the wages for 9.4 million jobs, at a cost of 28.7 billion pounds so far.

Reporting by David Milliken, editing by Andy Bruce

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