Companies will have borrowed more than £60bn to stay afloat during the pandemic by the end of this year.

The EY Item Club found that net lending to non-financial firms jumped to £35.5bn last year, from a net £8.8bn in 2019.

But the debt burden is set to rise further still, increasing by 5.4% this year, which equates to an extra £26bn net of repayments.