Coronavirus loan schemes benefiting businesses in all corners of UK, reveals new analysis from British Business Bank

  • Distribution of loans offered tracks business population of each region
  • East of England reports largest usage of CBILS outside London and the South East
  • North West reports largest usage of BBLS outside London and the South East
  • Construction sector has received highest proportion of total loans (17%), followed by Wholesale and Retail (16%)

New data published today reveals the regional distribution of loans under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS). The data, published by the British Business Bank, shows that the proportion of overall loans in each of the nine English regions and three Devolved Nations matches closely their respective share of the UK business population.

The East of England (11% of the total number of CBILS loans UK-wide) has the highest usage of CBILS outside London and the South East (33%) while the North West (11% of the total number of BBLS loans UK-wide) reports highest usage of BBLS outside London and the South East (34%).

Both schemes provide financial support to businesses across the UK that are losing revenue and seeing their cashflow disrupted, as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Other regions demonstrating strong use of CBILS are the North West (10%) and South West (9%). Take up of CBILS in the Devolved Nations is comparable to the proportion of the local business population of each nation, 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 Wholesale and Retail 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, Chief Executive Officer of the British Business Bank, 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 across the UK’s three Devolved Nations and nine English regions 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 every corner of the UK. The schemes put in place by the government-owned British Business Bank 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.”


Breakdown of loans offered by region – CBILS

RegionNumber of CBILS LoansVolume of finance under CBILS (£)% of offered facilities% of business population
East Midlands3,325776,952,8067%6%
East of England4,6691,020,035,59711%10%
North East1,233263,944,2383%3%
North West4,6991,129,802,53910%10%
Northern Ireland836237,817,7222%2%
South East7,3761,585,052,12516%16%
South West4,283927,187,7489%10%
West Midlands3,770871,365,3619%8%
Yorkshire and The Humber3,419741,647,5678%7%

 Breakdown of facilities offered by region – BBLS

RegionNumber of BBL facilitiesVolume of finance under BBLS (£)% of offered facilities% of business population
East Midlands67,5151,982,958,5646%6%
East of England100,4763,060,902,62810%10%
North East33,651939,452,1123%3%
North West112,4443,338,019,32211%10%
Northern Ireland25,491809,032,5422%2%
South East144,1524,347,184,71414%16%
South West84,5932,408,463,2178%10%
West Midlands84,7732,593,303,1268%8%
Yorkshire & the Humber73,9622,185,143,3207%7%

Breakdown of facilities offered by sector – CBILS

SIC Group DescriptionValue of Loans Offered (£)Number of Loans OfferedProportion of Offered FacilitiesProportion of UK Business Population
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing1,474,477,66545,8753%2.6%
Mining and Quarrying; Electricity, Gas and Air Conditioning Supply; Water Supply; Sewerage, Waste Management and Remediation Activities368,339,20411,4311%0.7%
Wholesale and Retail Trade; Repair of Motor Vehicles and Motorcycles8,234,342,759231,05515%9.2%
Transportation and Storage2,280,611,00986,0606%5.8%
Accommodation and Food Service Activities4,276,463,494119,4018%3.7%
Information and Communication2,121,404,48671,5045%6.4%
Financial and Insurance Activities421,094,10112,5711%1.5%
Real Estate Activities3,238,644,32391,4216%2.1%
Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities4,874,562,882172,51311%14.6%
Administrative and Support Service Activities3,269,345,759111,9407%8.8%
Human Health and Social Work Activities1,881,659,88963,6284%6.4%
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation1,030,041,42041,4823%5.2%
Other Service Activities2,333,709,344108,6957%6.1%
Not specified by borrower63,658,1052,6880%0.0%

Breakdown of facilities offered by sector – BBLS

SectorNumber of BBLS facilitiesVolume of finance under BBLS (£)% of BBLS facilities% of business population
Wholesale and Retail Trade; Repair of Motor Vehicles and Motorcycles168,1585,936,102,60916%9.3%
Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities115,5593,220,283,98011%14.8%
Accommodation and Food Service Activities88,4273,101,188,7068%3.4%
Administrative and Support Service Activities75,3242,181,381,3157%8.7%
Real Estate Activities63,0322,216,951,6416%1.9%
Other Service Activities60,1651,314,396,1676%5.8%
Transportation and Storage53,6041,409,541,2975%6.1%
Information and Communication46,1671,346,984,7844%6.3%
Human Health and Social Work Activities41,8211,223,162,4964%6.1%
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing27,656901,540,0733%2.7%
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation26,169657,683,8743%4.9%
Financial and Insurance Activities8,788290,886,4921%1.5%
Mining and Quarrying; Electricity, Gas and Air Conditioning Supply; Water Supply; Sewerage, Waste Management and Remediation Activities7,866251,165,0171%0.6%

Note: Regional and sectoral Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Scheme data has not been included in this analysis due to data protection and commercial considerations. Data on CBILS and BBLS schemes drawn from the British Business Bank portal, 2 August 2020.

A constituency-level breakdown of lending under CBILS and BBLS is available on the British Business Bank website.

Offered figures published by the British Business Bank may differ from aggregate approved figures published by HM Treasury due to a time lag between the two data sources, and since some borrowers may decide not to proceed with an approved application.

For more information, please contact:

The British Business Bank Team at MHP Communications

020 3128 8589

Notes to editors

Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS)

BBLS is a demand-led scheme offering lending that targets small and micro businesses, providing loans from £2k up to 25% of the business’ turnover with a maximum loan of £50k. Providing lenders with a 100% government-backed guarantee and standardising the application form has led to a faster process with many loans becoming available within days. The Bounce Back Loan Scheme enables businesses to obtain a six-year term loan at a government set interest rate of 2.5% a year. The government will cover interest payable in the first year.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

CBILS is a demand-led scheme offering lending to smaller businesses with turnover of up to £45m. Invoice finance and asset finance facilities are available from £1k to £5m, while term loans and revolving credit facilities are available from £50k to £5m. The government makes a payment to cover interest and lender-levied fees under CBILS for the first 12 months.

About the British Business Bank

The British Business Bank is the UK government’s economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity. Its remit is to design, deliver and efficiently manage UK-wide smaller business access to finance programmes for the UK government.

The British Business Bank programmes were supporting more than £7.7bn of finance to over 94,900 smaller businesses at end of December 2019. Since March 2020, the British Business Bank has launched four new Coronavirus business loan schemes, delivering tens of billions of pounds of finance to over a million businesses.

As well as increasing both supply and diversity of finance for UK smaller businesses through its programmes, the Bank works to raise awareness of the finance options available to smaller businesses:

The Business Finance Guide (published in partnership with the ICAEW and a further 21 business and finance organisations) impartially sets out the range of finance options available to businesses at all stages – from start-ups to SMEs and growing mid-sized companies. Businesses can take the interactive journey at

  • The British Business Bank Finance Hub provides independent and impartial information to high-growth businesses about their finance options, featuring short films, expert guides, checklists and articles from finance providers to help make their application a success. The site also features case studies and lessons from real businesses to guide businesses through the process of applying for growth finance.

As the holding company of the group operating under the trading name of British Business Bank, British Business Bank plc is wholly owned by HM Government and is not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The British Business Bank operates through a number of subsidiaries, none of which are authorised or regulated by the FCA or the PRA.

British Business Bank plc and its principal operating subsidiaries are not banking institutions and do not operate as such. A complete legal structure chart for British Business Bank plc and its subsidiaries can be found on the British Business Bank plc website.