April 30, 2020 / 9:04 AM / a month ago

UK government-backed lending to SMEs rises to 4.1 billion pounds

LONDON (Reuters) - Government-backed bank lending to small and medium-sized British businesses hit by the coronavirus rose to 4.1 billion pounds as of April 28, up from 2.8 billion pounds the week before, trade body UK Finance said on Thursday.

The Bank of England has criticised banks for the slow pace of lending under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme, which is 80% government-backed, and on Monday the government launched a new scheme for 100%-backed loans of up to 50,000 pounds for the smallest firms.

Lenders had received 52,807 CBILS applications from businesses by April 28, of which 25,262 had been approved so far, compared with around a cumulative 36,000 applications and 16,624 applications the previous week.

Reporting by David Milliken, editing by Andy Bruce

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