Responding to latest UK Finance statistics on lending through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), Tej Parikh, Chief Economist at the Institute of Directors, said:
“It is positive to see the scheme ramping up, but cash still needs to get to more businesses quickly. Reforms have started to bed in, and more money is getting out the door. However, there are still swathes of businesses facing processing delays and restrictive viability criteria, and many are reluctant to engage with the system at all.
“The Government must consider reforms to improve the scheme, from raising its backing of small loans to helping more non-bank lenders play their part. To help those unable to access the scheme, we need to explore how to make the affordability criteria clearer, more consistent and less stringent, while looking at other routes such as overdraft facilities.
“More transparency around data would be welcome. Knowing which banks are lending least would provide insight into what’s holding things back on the ground.”