The comment, made via the bank’s online AGM today, follows scrutiny over its handling of small business “Bounce Back” loan applications as the government-backed scheme was opened for yesterday.
Some £2bn worth of loans were approved across the industry on day one, according to the Treasury, though some Barclays customers reportedly complained that they were unable to access the necessary webpages to apply – and members of the Treasury select committee have sought explanations from the bank.
Today, Barclay’s noted that it approved loans totalling £670mln for 20,000 small businesses on the first day.
Barclays further highlighted its support for business customers as the bank briefed shareholders today.
“Make no mistake, interventions like these are making the difference between survival and failure for businesses and we’re pleased to be playing our part in keeping them going,” said
He added: “We’ve also been absolutely central, because of our strong investment banking capabilities, to helping larger businesses to access the Bank of England and Treasury’s CCFF programme. So far, we have arranged £7.2bn of commercial paper for UK corporates over the past few weeks, representing 45 per cent of this total market.”
“In addition to our backing for those government schemes, we’ve also been able to provide significant help on our own to our business clients.
“For example, we’ve waived everyday banking fees and overdraft interest or charges until June for 650,000 of our small business customers.
“And we’ve put in place 12-month capital repayment holidays for most SMEs with loans of over £25,000. We’re continuing to extend credit to companies and there is £50bn of lending limits available to our UK clients.”