HSBC halts new bounce back loan applications

HSBC has stopped accepting applications for new business bank accounts as it looks to focus on clearing a backlog of applications for loans for small firms under the Government’s Bounce Back Loan Scheme. Official figures show that lenders have handed out about £38bn under the initiative, with 1.3m businesses handed financial support designed to soften the blow dealt by the coronavirus crisis. HSBC has approved 194,000 bounce back loans, with a total value of nearly £5.9bn.

The bank says it is approving a new loan every 20 seconds. It announced yesterday that new small business customers will not be able to open accounts until December 14. An HSBC UK spokesman said: “As one of the only banks that remained open to applications from all UK businesses since the scheme’s launch, we received a huge level of demand. With the scheme closing on November 30, we need to focus our resources on fulfilling existing applications.”

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