Banks Slash U.K. Commercial Property Lending as Default Fears Mount

Banks are putting the brakes on U.K. commercial real estate lending as the pandemic batters the economy and stokes fears about looming defaults, Bloomberg News reported. New loans declined in the first half by 34% from a year earlier to 15.5 billion pounds ($20.2 billion), according to a report from The Business School in the City of London. More than a fifth of lenders surveyed said they made no new commercial property loans in the period. The coronavirus has plunged the U.K. into a painful recession. Government lockdown measures to slow the outbreak have forced many businesses -- especially restaurants, bars and retailers -- to close, crippling their ability to pay rent and threatening property prices. Read more