DATA released by the Treasury has revealed firms in Scotland and the South West of England have received a smaller share of UK-wide lending than they did before the coronavirus pandemic.

Figures published today showed mid-sized businesses based in London received bigger loans on average than anywhere else in the UK.

The UK Government’s “bounce back” and “coronavirus business interruption loan” schemes are designed to support “jobs, incomes, and businesses across every corner of the UK”, according to Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

But Reuters found businesses in Scotland were offered 6% of the total pot of bounce back loans – compared to a 9% market share of small business lending at the end of last year.

READ MORE: Rishi Sunak urged to extend furlough scheme to avoid redundancies

The South West of England, too, received 8% of the emergency funds compared to a previous 12% market share.

Previously the Treasury denied an FOI request for a geographical breakdown of the figures, telling Reuters that protecting banks’ commercial information was in the public interest.

The new data does not break down the number of loan applications or rejections by part of the UK.

The Treasury told the media firm that the proportion of emergency loans offered compared favourably with the proportion of businesses in each part of the UK last year. They added that the data lagged its weekly lending figures and reflects the value of loans offered, not those approved.

The news comes as Sunak visits Scotland today for what has been called a “flying visit” by the SNP.

This morning the Chancellor ruled out extending the UK Government furlough scheme – something the SNP have warned risks mass redundancies.

This week alone more than 10,000 job losses have been announced over the last seven days.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford warned yesterday: “Cutting the furlough scheme prematurely is a grave mistake. By removing this crucial support in the middle of a global pandemic, and withholding the financial powers Scotland needs for a strong recovery, the Tories are increasing the risk of mass redundancies.

“Businesses, trade unions and economic experts are warning that too little is being done to protect jobs. I urge the Chancellor to think again, extend the furlough scheme into 2021 and devolve the powers Scotland needs to respond to this unprecedented crisis.

“Without these powers Scotland will be left with one hand tied behind its back – unable to stem the tide of job losses or prevent good businesses going under. Other countries are taking action for an investment-led recovery but yet again Scotland is being held back by Westminster.”

But speaking to Good Morning Scotland today, Sunak rejected extending the scheme.

He argued “most reasonable people” will agree the UK Government paying private firms’ wages is “not something that can carry on indefinitely”.

He told listeners: "It is wrong to keep people trapped in a situation and pretend there is always a job that they can go back to, that won't always be the case.

"In those situations it's better we look forward and provide those people with new opportunities."

He has used the Scotland visit to promote what he sees as the strength of the Union during the coronavirus crisis.

Ahead of the visit, the Treasury said UK Government-supported loan schemes worth around £2.3 billion had been successfully applied for by more than 65,000 businesses in Scotland.

They revealed that 29% of all Scottish employees had been furloughed, while another 155,000 people had been supported through the self-employment scheme.