New data published today reveals the regional distribution of loans under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS). The data, published by the British Business Bank, shows that the proportion of overall loans in each of the nine English regions and three Devolved Nations matches closely their respective share of the UK business population.
The East of England (11% of the total number of CBILS loans UK-wide) has the highest usage of CBILS outside London and the South East (33%) while the North West (11% of the total number of BBLS loans UK-wide) reports highest usage of BBLS outside London and the South East (34%). Both schemes provide financial support to businesses across the UK that are losing revenue and seeing their cashflow disrupted, as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. Other regions demonstrating strong use of CBILS are the North West (10%) and South West (9%).
Take up of CBILS in the Devolved Nations is comparable to the proportion of the local business population of each nation, with take up in Scotland (5%), Wales (3%) and Northern Ireland (2%). Other regions demonstrating strong use of BBLS include the East of England (10%) West Midlands (8%), South West (8%), Yorkshire and the Humber (7%) and the East Midlands (6%). Take up in the Devolved Nations is Scotland (6%), Wales (4%) and Northern Ireland (2%).
The Wholesale and Retail sector has accessed a significantly higher proportion of CBILS loans (19%) than its share of the business population (9%), with Manufacturing (13% v 5%) and Accommodation and Food Services (9% v 3%) following a similar pattern. The Wholesale and Retail sector also accessed a relatively high proportion of Bounce Back Loans compared to its business population share (16% v 9%), as did businesses in Accommodation and Food Services (8% v 3%) and Real Estate Services (6% v 2%).
Keith Morgan, Chief Executive Officer of the British Business Bank, said: “A key objective for the British Business Bank is to identify and help reduce regional imbalances in access to finance for smaller businesses across the UK. It is welcome to see in the data that these schemes are helping businesses across the UK’s three Devolved Nations and nine English regions to access the finance they need to survive and stabilise, putting them in a better position to grow as we move into recovery.” Small Business Minister
Paul Scully said: “Throughout this crisis, we have backed business of all sizes in in every corner of the UK. The schemes put in place by the government-owned British Business Bank have provided some much-needed breathing space for businesses as they deal with the challenges posed by coronavirus. Government support has helped firms right across Britain, not just in keeping businesses going but now enabling thousands to bounce back in a safe, Covid-secure manner.”
Stephen Pegge, Managing Director of Commercial Finance at UK Finance, said: “Lenders understand that times are tough for businesses up and down the country, but the industry has a clear plan to help them get through this crisis. Whether you’re a sole trader in a rural area or a company with hundreds of employees in a major city, the banking and finance industry stands ready to offer the right support to suit your needs and these figures demonstrate that funding is well distributed throughout the UK. Businesses should remember that any lending provided under government-backed schemes is a loan not a grant, and so should carefully consider their ability to repay before applying.”
Regional and sectoral Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Scheme data has not been included in this analysis due to data protection and commercial considerations. Data on CBILS and BBLS schemes drawn from the British Business Bank portal, 2 August 2020. A constituency-level breakdown of lending under CBILS and BBLS is available on the British Business Bank website. Offered figures published by the British Business Bank may differ from aggregate approved figures published by HM Treasury due to a time lag between the two data sources, and since some borrowers may decide not to proceed with an approved application.