UK launches first stage of 330 bln stg loan guarantee scheme

LONDON, March 23 (Reuters) – Britain’s government opened the first part of a 330 billion pounds ($384 billion) loan guarantee scheme for businesses on Monday, which will help small firms borrow up to 5 million pounds to help them deal with coronavirus stoppages.

Businesses with a turnover of up to 45 million pounds will be able to apply to banks for an 12-month interest-free loan, 80% of which will be guaranteed by the government, the finance ministry said.

The Bank of England also confirmed that a scheme to buy debt known as commercial paper from larger businesses would start on Monday too. ($1 = 0.8603 pounds) (Reporting by David Milliken, Editing by Paul Sandle)

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