Hundreds of applications streamed in to banks for business bounce-back loans in the minutes after they opened, some of the UK’s biggest lenders have revealed.
Barclays said it had received around 200 applications in the first minute after it launched the scheme on Monday morning.
All 200 were approved just minutes later, Matt Hammerstein, the chief executive of Barclays UK, told the Treasury Select Committee.
In the hours that followed, the bank fielded around 35 applications every minute.
“The process to be able to get access to the money is super simple,” he said.
Mr Hammerstein added: “We’d expect the cash to be with those clients over the course of the next 24 hours.”
Lloyds also revealed that its customers had sent around 2,000 request for bounce-back loans, with an average loan size of £35,000, in the first two hours after it opened its doors Monday morning.
“We do expect a really quite significant volume flowing through to the bounce back loans,” said David Oldfield, the chief executive of commercial banking at Lloyds.
Businesses are asked in a 2-3 page online application what their turnover is and how much money they want to borrow, along with some other details.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the bounce back loan scheme a week ago.
He promised a Government guarantee for 100% of the risk the banks are taking in lending businesses up to 25% of their turnover to help them bounce back from the coronavirus crisis, up to a maximum of £50,000.
The Treasury has promised to cover the interest on the loans for the first 12 months.
Mr Sunak told MPs: “I know that some small businesses are still struggling to access credit.
“They are in many ways the most exposed businesses to the impact of the coronavirus and often find it harder to access credit in the first place.”
Businesses will borrow at 2.5% interest.