April 27, 2020 / 2:54 PM / a month ago

UK's Sunak offers 100% state-backed loans to smallest firms

LONDON, April 27 (Reuters) - British finance minister Rishi Sunak said on Monday that the government would provide 100% guarantees on loans to Britain’s smallest businesses in the latest move to shield the economy and workers from the coronavirus shutdown.

Sunak, who has faced criticism for slow progress in getting government-backed credit to companies and had previously opposed 100% state guarantees, said the government would pay the interest on loans of up to 50,000 pounds ($62,010.00) on behalf of firms for the first 12 months.

“The Government, which has been consulting extensively with business representatives about the design of the new scheme, will provide lenders with a 100% guarantee for the loan and pay any fees and interest for the first 12 months. No repayments will be due during the first 12 months,” the Treasury said in a statement.

$1 = 0.8063 pounds Reporting by David Milliken Writing by William Schomberg Editing by Estelle Shirbon

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