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Coronavirus: Banks issue emergency loans

Economy

Banks are issuing emergency loans to businesses experiencing financial strain on the back of the coronavirus outbreak, with Barclays, Santander UK and Royal Bank of Scotland among those who have been contacting business customers to check whether factory disruptions in China have put their supply chains and cash flow at risk. Ian Rand, chief executive of Barclays’ business banking division, said: “Our network of relationship managers has been reaching out to SMEs across the UK to see if they require additional support during this time, as we do regularly when we see any events which may have an impact on our clients.” The bank has already signed off its first batch of overdrafts and short-term loans designed to ease coronavirus-related pressures. An RBS spokeswoman said: “We are monitoring the potential impact of coronavirus across our personal and business customers to ensure we can support them appropriately through any period of disruption.” Meanwhile, governor Mark Carney has suggested the Bank of England could help small firms mitigate against blows from the virus, saying: “We can have, if we so choose, a direct influence on the cashflow of these small businesses.”

 

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