Barclays hands out billions in Covid support loans

Barclays Bank handed out 640,000 payment holidays to customers hit by Covid-19 restrictions and approved loans and support worth £25 billion.

The lender added that it waived £100 million in interest and fees for UK customers and provided the same amount in community aid packages.

A total of 9,800 Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBLS) payments were approved with a value of £3 billion. The loans are 80% backed by the Government.

Around 296,000 bounceback loans for small businesses, worth £9.2 billion, which are 100% backed by the taxpayer, were also approved, alongside £12.4 billion through the Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF), operated by the Bank of England.

The huge support for UK businesses came as Barclays revealed income at the global bank increased 3% in the nine months to September 30 to £16.8 billion, with pre-tax profits of £2.4 billion, including £1.1 billion in the third quarter.

Profits increased in its investment division and high street lending over the three-month period as global economies recovered from the height of the global pandemic, it added.

Barclays said its preferred measure – Return on Tangible Equity (RoTE), based on profits from cash invested with the bank – increased to 5.1% in the three months to September 30.

However, the rise was greater in its investment division – hitting 10.2% – compared with its ring-fenced high street services, with a more modest 4.5%. The UK division made a pre-tax profit of £196 million.

Chief executive Jes Staley said: “In this historically challenging year for our customers and clients we have continued to provide huge support to help people through the social and economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This remains a priority, alongside maintaining the financial integrity of the firm and keeping our colleagues safe.”