Sky News reveals figures from Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Lloyds Banking Group show the five biggest lenders in Britain handed out just Â£37 billion in new credit to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) between January and June 2011.
It means their lending has fallen markedly short - by around Â£1 billion - of the Â£378 billion aim for the first six months of the year.
The agreement is part of Project Merlin - a deal signed between RBS, Lloyds, Barclays, HSBC and Santander UK in February - which promised a total of Â£76 billion would be made available for lesser-scale firms across 2011.
According to sources with knowledge on the matter, Lloyds has so far lent around Â£6.8 billion to SMEs this year, while RBS - which has more than 40 million customers - has released around Â£15.5 billion.
By Claire Archer