Banks said to “pay back the favor” and bail out taxpayers affected by the coronavirus pandemic

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The business secretary warned the banks that it was their turn to “pay back the favor” and bail out taxpayers struggling with the coronavirus crisis.

At the Covid-19 press conference on Wednesday, Alok Sharma said that the Chancellor, the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority had written to chief executive officers of British banks.

He said they urged them to ensure that the benefits of Covid’s business interruption loan program are “passed on to businesses and consumers.”

UK companies have expressed frustration after being either refused or prevented from talking to banks by phone.

Downing Street briefing

Speaking on Downing Street, Sharma said the government bailed out the banks in the 2008 financial crash and it was time to “pay back the favor” to taxpayers.

“It would be totally unacceptable for banks to unfairly deny funds to good deals in financial trouble,” said Sharma.

“Just as the taxpayer stepped in to help the banks in 2008, we will work with the banks to do everything possible to repay this favor and support businesses and people when they need it.”

This comes as Downing Street said more than 2,000 NHS workers have been tested for coronavirus as the government faces a scrutiny of its testing policy.

Professor Yvonne Doyle, medical director of Public Health England (PHE), said at the daily press conference on number 10 that 10,000 tests per day are being performed and that the goal is to reach 25,000 tests here in mid-April.

She said the intention was to “go from thousands to hundreds of thousands in the coming weeks.”

PHE has also been criticized for testing members of the public more widely with Covid-19.

He has repeatedly stated that most adults who develop symptoms recover fully and do not need to be tested.

However, many scientists disagree and say it is only through widespread community testing that the UK will be able to track the virus and break the lock.

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