UK COVID lending to businesses tops $65bln

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is the costliest single government COVID relief measure

  
The skyline with its financial district is photographed during sunset in Frankfurt, Germany, April 22, 2020, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues.

The skyline with its financial district is photographed during sunset in Frankfurt, Germany, April 22, 2020, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues.

REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

LONDON - Banks' lending to businesses under a government-backed COVID-19 loan scheme has exceeded 50 billion pounds ($65 billion), while the cost of supporting furloughed workers has increased to 33.8 billion pounds, weekly finance ministry figures showed.

Lending across the government's three main programmes for small, medium and large businesses rose to a total 50.69 billion pounds as of Aug. 2, up from 49.43 billion pounds the week before.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which has supported 9.6 million jobs and is the costliest single government COVID relief measure, has risen to 33.8 billion pounds from 31.7 billion pounds a week earlier. ($1 = 0.7645 pounds)

(Reporting by Andy Bruce, editing by David Milliken) ((andy.bruce@thomsonreuters.com; +442075423484; Reuters Messaging: andy.bruce.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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