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Fall In Lending To Small Firms Casts Further Doubt On Banks' Pledges

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Bank lending to small businesses fell in the first two months of this year – casting further doubt on the banks' pledges to increase credit made under the Government's Project Merlin agreement. New loans to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) fell to £949m in January and February from £1.06bn a year earlier, according to figures from the British Bankers' Association. The number of new loans also fell sharply.

Britain's big five banks agreed in February to increase lending to SMEs by 15 per cent to £76bn as part of a wider plan to boost credit to companies. The SME element of the deal was seen as the most important because those businesses account for more than half the economy and have found it more difficult than bigger companies to raise new capital.

The BBA's figures tally with Bank of England data last week that showed SME lending fell in February.

Who would seriously want to borrow money in the current environment. You can make all the promises you like but you can't force people to borrow.

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  • 312 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?

      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%

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