LONDON- Bank of England lending to businesses affected by the coronavirus fell this week for the first time since the programme launched in March, a week before the names of borrowers will begin to be made public.
The BoE said its holdings of commercial paper - a form of short-term debt issued by large companies - dropped to 18.979 billion pounds ($23.3 billion) as of May 27 from 20.498 billion pounds the week before.
Holdings of commercial paper can fall if it matures and the company that issues it chooses not to refinance with the BoE.
From next week, the BoE will publish details of how much individual businesses are borrowing using its Covid Corporate Financing Facility to improve the programme's transparency.
Financial market conditions have also improved, making it easier for businesses to access other sources of finance. ($1 = 0.8138 pounds)
(Reporting by David Milliken, editing by Andy Bruce) ((firstname.lastname@example.org; +44 20 7542 5109; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com))