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Deferrals and defaults – what happens to banks in the age of coronavirus?

The past month has seen previously unthinkable change for the banking sector. Journalist Laura Miller considers how coronavirus could further affect banks and their customers.

Thirty thousand people at least have died in the UK from coronavirus at the time of writing; Britain’s lockdown since 23rd March is having far-reaching economic consequences, but it’s vital aim is to control that number. 

Four million workers are furloughed on 80% pay paid by the government’s job retention scheme (JRS). Many companies have had to close, a quarter permanently. Banks are being forced to lend fast and get repaid slowly, cajoled into putting social responsibility over profit. It could be their chance to make amends for the last crisis. They’ve been slow to grab it.