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Lending levels have been disappointing

Banks urged to help small businesses

The Government has urged banks to do more to support small business after figures released showed disappointing levels of lending under the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) scheme.

Business minister Michael Fallow has written to the heads of the big five High Street banks encouraging them to take advantage of EFG.

Lending levels have apparently tailed off since peaking in 2009, despite a number of changes to make it more accessible and flexible. In 2009, over £735 million was lent out, compared to just over £200 million this year.

“It is crucial that banks play their part in making finance available to businesses and support growth in the economy,” said Mr. Fallon.

“Banks have to lend responsibly but it is clear that a number of lenders need to up their game. The EFG scheme has been made more flexible and is now available to even more businesses. Publishing lending data should encourage these financial institutions to do more to help business thrive.”

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