Britain’s Covid Loan Program Asks PwC to Examine Fraud Risks

The manager of Britain’s pandemic business loan program has brought in PwC to examine possible cases of fraud.

The state-owned British Business Bank hired consultants to look into where borrowers are committing or attempting fraud, according to an emailed statement on Friday. The Telegraph newspaper reported the news earlier.

British banks have lent about 68 billion pounds ($93 billion) through a trio of loan programs, with repayments backstopped by the government. This month, the government extended the initiatives through March as cases of Covid-19 rose sharply, prompting further restrictions on socializing and business activity.

Lawmakers have previously raised concerns about the risk of fraud, and one estimate found defaults and fraud in the Bounce Back program for small businesses could reach 80% in the worst case.

The British Business Bank is also working with government fraud bodies and the industry to mitigate fraud and credit risks, according to the statement.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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