Continued support from banks to help UK SMEs cope with Coronavirus
Huge amounts of support being offered up to UK SMEs by the banks to help cope with #coronavirus disruption. Plenty of lobbying for the Chancellor to act tomorrow too. Here’s your round up…
NatWest pledges £5bn to support SMEs
NatWest has promised £5bn to support UK small and medium-sized businesses suffering from disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak. The funding will be used to provide loan repayment holidays of up to six months, as well as temporary emergency loans with no fees. Mike Cherry, national chairman of the Federation of Small Business, welcomed NatWest’s package but warned banks not to make the same mistakes they made after 2008 when they abused the trust of small businesses. Elsewhere, Barclays is offering its business clients 12-month capital repayment holidays on loans worth more than £25,000, as well as bigger overdrafts and access to a £14bn fund launched last year as part of a three-year commitment to small firms to build resilience during uncertain times.
Hardship fund to support virus-hit businesses
Sources have told the Telegraph that small businesses could be provided with cheap loans to keep them afloat until the coronavirus epidemic passes. The Chancellor is expected to announce a package of measures in his first Budget to limit the economic impact of the virus, but the Treasury has declined to comment. Separately, the IMF’s chief economist Gita Gopinath has said central banks should be prepared to provide liquidity to lenders and financial companies, particularly those providing loans to small businesses, to offset damage caused by the coronavirus.