Banks' lending targets 'set too low'

16 November 2011

British banks should have been set higher targets in terms of their goals to lend to smaller companies in the aftermath of the recession.

That is according to Andrew Cave of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), who believes the bar was set "too low" for the country's major financiers when they agreed to the Project Merlin scheme earlier this year.

Under the terms of this initiative agreed with the government in February, the UK's five largest banks committed to providing some £76 billion in loans to small and medium-sized enterprises throughout this year.

However, the Bank of England revealed yesterday that, so far, these firms have loaned just £56.1 billion this year to SMEs.

And Mr Cave told BBC Radio 5's Wake Up To Money podcast the major problem is that financiers were not asked to do more.

"There just isn't enough money flowing into the UK economy from the banks," he explained.

By Tony Aynsley

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