25 March 2020 | Comment | Article by Dominic Marshall

COVID-19 - How can banks help businesses during these times?

Banks in the UK are reaching out to support and guide their customers through these uncertain times.

On 17 March, The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announced a £330 billion package of public funds, through the banking system, which businesses could access from 23 March.

This package is said to be equivalent 15 percent of the UK GDP and similar to interventions made by other countries like France and Spain.

The help on offer differs from bank to bank, but includes:

  • loan repayment holidays
  • topping up existing loans
  • temporary conversion to interest only payments;
  • temporary interest reductions;
  • extending loan durations and final repayment dates;
  • offering new, or extended, working capital facilities;
  • offering emergency loans;
  • waiving arrangement and other fees;
  • amending financial covenants and performance markers; and 
  • renegotiating intercreditor arrangements between creditors to avoid cross-defaults. 

All of the measures above should be documented. Our Banking and Finance team have the capabilities to advise and negotiate on all of these measures and are currently doing so for existing clients. Our team is also able to draft, issue and settle new loan agreements, variations, waivers, consents and side letters for the lenders.

If you have concerns regarding banking and finance during these uncertain times, it could be worth speaking to your bank. The Hugh James Banking and Finance team is also on hand to offer specialist banking advice.

Please get in touch with Dominic Marshall:

t: 029 2267 5324

e: dominic.marshall@hughjames.com

Also Hugh James has a dedicated COVID-19 Coronavirus Support Hub for any other legal needs you may have concerning the impact of Coronavirus.  

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.

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