Last month the Business Secretary Alok Sharma told the banks that it was time to get with the programme and dramatically step up the distribution of emergency loans to UK businesses stricken by the coronavirus lockdown.

“Just as the taxpayer stepped in to help the banks back in 2008, we will work with the banks to do everything they can to repay that favour and support the businesses and people of the United Kingdom in their time of need,” he said.

In other words: it’s payback time for those multi-billion pound taxpayer bailouts more than a decade ago.

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