I have today been in touch with Barclays and they have updated me on the measures they are putting in place to support their customers and clients through this unprecedented time.
Support for Small Businesses
Barclays have now launched their participation in the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBIL), which was announced by the Chancellor in the Budget and put in place by the British Business Bank yesterday. Further information can be found here: www.barclays.co.uk/business-banking/borrow/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan
The terms of the scheme were finalised over the weekend and they are working hard to ensure their staff are trained and ready to help customers, many of whom we know will be increasingly anxious. Please bear with them as they work to put in place the arrangements to ensure the smooth operation of the scheme.
The CBIL scheme is a borrowing facility designed to help businesses access finance where a lender would not be able to provide finance to the business on their normal lending criteria. The British Business Bank has set out strict eligibility criteria and limits to the size of loans that Barclays must apply when assessing applications. This means that some businesses will find that they are unable to access loans under the scheme, but they will work with customers and clients to help them understand the framework.
Support for Larger Businesses
The Bank of England has also launched a Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF). The CCFF will provide funding to corporates with an Investment Grade credit rating and who make a material contribution to the UK economy, through the purchase, by the Bank of England, of Commercial Paper of up to one-year maturity. In addition to assisting their clients originate into and access the facility, they have been providing their thoughts to the relevant authorities as to how best to meet their objectives.
Support for Customers
More broadly, Barlcays have created a hub with all the latest information on our products and services for customers: https://www.barclays.co.uk/coronavirus/ It is updated daily so that customers can find the information they need in one place. Their colleagues are also facing unprecedented times and so we are asking customers to only phone us if they have an immediate financial problem. That way, they can help make sure that those who are most vulnerable receive the support they need. All of the online and mobile channels are working as normal.
I welcome the help that Barclays are offering their customers and appreciate the hard work of all their staff.