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UK may give state loans to energy companies after gas price rise

·1 min read

LONDON, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Britain is considering state loans for energy companies that take on customers from firms which go bust due to soaring wholesale gas prices, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said on Tuesday.

Asked if state-backed loans were an option, Kwarteng said: "There are lots of options ... It costs a company to absorb up to hundreds of thousands of customers from another company that's failed, that costs money, and there may well be a provision for some sort of loan and that's been discussed."

Kwarteng said he would not give money to companies which had been badly run.

"I don't think we should be throwing taxpayers money at companies which have been, let's face it, badly run," he told Sky News.

"Every year between 5 and 8 companies exit the market and I don't want to prop up failing companies, I don't want there to be a reward for failure."

He added: "The energy price cap is here to stay, I don't want to remove that."

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Michael Holden)

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