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BBLS losses could top £26bn, NAO says

07-10-2020

Analysis by the National Audit Office suggests British taxpayers could lose £26bn on the Government’s Bounce Back Loan Scheme due to a lack of credit controls and exploitation by criminal gangs. The audit office forecast costs of between £15bn to £26bn based on losses of between 35% and 60%, on the assumption that lending reached £43bn. But a worse-case scenario puts defaults as high as 80% or £34bn. A government spokesman said: “Our loan schemes have provided a lifeline to thousands of businesses across the UK. We targeted this support to help those who need it most as quickly as possible and we won’t apologise for this. Any fraudulent applications can be criminally prosecuted for which penalties include imprisonment or a fine or both.” The Mail’s Alex Brummer comments: “This whole episode is a warning of the dangers of being seduced by well-intentioned but badly-thought-out credit plans. Authors of Boris Johnson's 95% mortgage loans have been warned.”

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