UK state-backed COVID lending rises to 65.48 billion pounds

FILE PHOTO: A person walks a dog next to a sign displaying the measures imposed by the government against the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), on the first day of a newly imposed lockdown, in London, Britain, November 5, 2020. REUTERS/John Sibley

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s government has given banks guarantees on 65.48 billion pounds of lending to businesses hit by the coronavirus as of Nov. 15, up from 61.93 billion pounds a month earlier, finance ministry data showed on Thursday.

The biggest part of the lending is to small businesses, for which banks receive a 100% state guarantee on the 42.18 billion pounds of loans that have been made.

Reporting by David Milliken, editing by Andy Bruce