Who’s borrowed what – region by region

The East of England has had the highest usage of CBILS outside London and the South East while the North West reports highest usage of BBLS by the same comparison.

These were the findings of data published by the British Business Bank which shows that the proportion of overall loans in each of the nine English regions, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland matches closely their respective share of the UK business population.

Both schemes provide financial support to businesses across the UK that are losing revenue and seeing their cashflow disrupted, as a result of Covid.

Other regions demonstrating strong use of CBILS are the North West (10%) and South West (9%). Take up of CBILS elsewhere is comparable to the proportion of the local business population of each, with take up in Scotland (5%), Wales (3%) and Northern Ireland (2%).

Other regions demonstrating strong use of BBLS include the East of England (10%) West Midlands (8%), South West (8%), Yorkshire and the Humber (7%) and the East Midlands (6%). Take up in the Devolved Nations is Scotland (6%), Wales (4%) and Northern Ireland (2%).

The Wholesale and Retail sector has accessed a significantly higher proportion of CBILS loans (19%) than its share of the business population (9%), with Manufacturing (13% v 5%) and Accommodation and Food Services (9% v 3%) following a similar pattern.

The same sector also accessed a relatively high proportion of Bounce Back Loans compared to its business population share (16% v 9%), as did businesses in Accommodation and Food Services (8% v 3%) and Real Estate Services (6% v 2%).

Keith Morgan, the bank’s Chief Executive Officer, said:“A key objective for the British Business Bank is to identify and help reduce regional imbalances in access to finance for smaller businesses across the UK.

“It is welcome to see in the data that these schemes are helping businesses to access the finance they need to survive and stabilise, putting them in a better position to grow as we move into recovery.”

Small Business Minister Paul Scully said:“Throughout this crisis, we have backed business of all sizes in in every corner of the UK. The schemes put in place have provided some much-needed breathing space for businesses as they deal with the challenges posed by coronavirus.

Government support has helped firms right across Britain, not just in keeping businesses going but now enabling thousands to bounce back in a safe, Covid-secure manner.”

Stephen Pegge, Managing Director of Commercial Finance at UK Finance, said: “Lenders understand that times are tough for businesses up and down the country, but the industry has a clear plan to help them get through this crisis.

“Whether you’re a sole trader in a rural area or a company with hundreds of employees in a major city, the banking and finance industry stands ready to offer the right support to suit your needs and these figures demonstrate that funding is well distributed throughout the UK.

“Businesses should remember that any lending provided under government-backed schemes is a loan not a grant, and so should carefully consider their ability to repay before applying.”