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Revisions announced for emergency business support

03 April 2020

Adjustments to the government's schemes to provide financial support to businesses affected by the Covid-19 outbreak have been announced.

Its actions follow reports of companies complaining that they had been unable to access the billions of pounds the government has made available, while others have seen interest rates of up to 30% demanded on loans to keep their businesses afloat.

Chancellor Rushi Sunak has now stated that he will speak to senior financial personnel to ensure banks do not take advantage of the crisis.

According to the BBC, the Treasury reported receiving over 130,000 loan enquiries, less than 1,000 of which had been approved.

The latest updates are designed to make it easier for companies to access either the Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme for SMEs, or the Covid Corporate Financing Facility for larger organisations.

One of the changes made is that the funds will not just be available to those SMEs that have been refused a commercial loan.

In order to address the issue of financial institutions requesting security for loans from owners of large companies applying for loans, the government has said this practice will now be banned.

This follows reports of business owners being asked to provide security from their own resources, including savings and property owned, when borrowing up to £250,000.

Confederation of British Industry's Carolyn Fairbairn said the changes were a "big step forward" but stated more details was required.

Her comments were echoed by other industry bodies and politicians.

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