South Korea proves governments can quickly hand out cash

SEOUL — South Korea was able to disburse relief payments to 97% of all households in about two weeks by using a novel method that offers a lesson to other governments scrambling to rescue economies from the impact of the coronavirus.

The swift process also offers a contrast to that in Japan, where the government in mid-April decided to provide 100,000 yen (about $930) handouts to all residents, many of whom are still waiting for their subsidy.

South Korea’s secret? Credit cards.

For a family of four, the emergency payout is 1 million won (around $812), but it comes with

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A little bit of EU red tape is stopping firms getting the cash they need

In particular, the “undertaking in difficulty” (UID) test has become the bete-noire of many fast-growing firms, desperate for a lifeline.

The rationale for the UID test is to ensure public funds are not used to prop up failing businesses, in simple terms not to throw good money after bad. It aims to achieve this by obliging funders to check for certain markers that may indicate imminent insolvency.

While not normally attracting attention, the UID test has been included in the European Commission’s Temporary Framework, which relaxes certain state aid rules in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. While recognising the

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Japan prepares cash injections for small, virus-hit companies

TOKYO — Japan’s government will set up a public-private fund to inject capital into small to medium-size companies whose finances have been decimated by the coronavirus pandemic, sources told Nikkei.

Tokyo plans to allocate over 50 billion yen ($465 million) in the draft second supplementary budget for fiscal 2020, through next March, to be submitted to the Diet in June. It plans to invest in several hundreds of companies.

The arrangement is aimed at supporting small businesses in the manufacturing, services and other industries that are considered indispensable to regional economies.

The government will also call on private-sector financial institutions

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Tesco Bank launches free cash delivery service for vulnerable customers

Tesco Bank has become the first to offer home deliveries of cash to vulnerable people who are shielding from coronavirus.

Elderly and vulnerable people have risked being cut off financially during the Covid-19 outbreak, as most are not able to visit a cash machine. 

Tesco Bank savings and current account customers can now ask for sums of between £20 and £500 to be delivered to their home using a tracked delivery service. 

The bank already offers a similar service which allows holidaymakers to have foreign currency posted to their door, but this is the first time pound sterling has been

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