UK #COVID lending to businesses tops £50 billion

Banks’ lending to businesses under a government-backed COVID-19 loan scheme has exceeded £50 billion, while the cost of supporting furloughed workers has increased to £33.8bn, weekly finance ministry figures showed, writes Andy Bruce.

Lending across the government’s three main programmes for small, medium and large businesses rose to a total £50.69bn as of 2 August, up from £49.43bn the week before.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which has supported 9.6 million jobs and is the costliest single government COVID relief measure, has risen to £33.8bn from £31.7bn a week earlier.

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