Coronavirus: DMA Pushes for 100% Coronavirus Loan Guarantees from Government
20 Apr 2020
The DMA is now pressing the UK Government to offer 100% guarantees to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme (CBILS) offered to businesses to aid them through the coronavirus pandemic.
While the DMA has led engagement with the government to make the loans more accessible, businesses are still finding it difficult to access the much-needed cash flow to stay afloat.
Only 6000 loans have been offered via the current set up of the loans scheme accounting for £1.1bn of the £300bn fund allocated to the scheme.
The new Governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, said 100% government backing could 'speed up the process'.
His comments were endorsed by business leaders as well as former Chancellor George Osbourne and Labour Shadow Business Secretary, Ed Miliband.
DMA CEO Chris Combemale said:
"The UK Government should now take the decision to simplify the CBILS process by dropping the unrealistic forecasting requirements and offer 100% government guarantees to the business loans to restore confidence and supply cash flow to the economy. While the CBILS scheme has good intentions, in practice it is not working. The UK has 5.9 million SMEs, so it is worrying only 6,000 have so far accessed loans, four weeks after the measures were first announced. This is the time to act."
Other countries around the world are offering greater government backing or total backing for coronavirus help loans:
Businesses in France can apply for loans of up to 25% of annual turnover backed by the French Government at a rate of 90%. The scheme totals a similar €300bn and is available to startups and SMEs, reflecting France's lesser reliance on larger businesses.
Through the German Government's “instant loan” scheme, any German firm employing between 10 and 50 people can gain credit equivalent to up to three months’ turnover, capped at €500,000 (£439,000). Those with up to 250 employees can access €800,000. The wider loan programme provides a 100% loan guarantee for companies with between 11 and 249 employees, while the first program provides for an 80 per cent to 90 per cent loan guarantee to bigger companies. In total, the German Government's coronavirus aid package totals EUR1.1 trillion.
The Swiss have paved the way in the way the government has offered businesses loans. €15bn has been issued within the first week. Businesses affected by the coronavirus crisis and with an annual turnover under CHF 20m (£16.5m), for an immediate loan worth up to 10% of annual turnover, capped at CHF 500 000 (£414k). The interest-free loan will be provided by Swiss banks and will be 100% guaranteed by the Swiss government.
For larger organisations, loans of up to CHF 20m (£16.5m) will be available with 85% Swiss Government backing.
The Italian Government has approved measures offering more than €400 billion of liquidity and bank loans to companies. 100% government guarantee will be given to loans up to EUR £25k, thereafter 90% for larger loans. The move is expected to inject €200bn into the economy.