Britain's new business development bank is set to open in the early stages of 2013, it has emerged.
During his Autumn Statement yesterday (5 December), chancellor George Osborne elaborated on the preliminary plans put forward by business secretary Vince Cable earlier in the year.
The body has been specifically-designed to make it easier for the country's smaller companies to access funding, as loans from banks and building societies have become more difficult to obtain as the nation struggles against the impact of recession.
Mr Osborne stated: "We're creating a new Business Bank and providing it with £1 billion ($1.6 billion) of extra capital which will lever in private lending to help small and medium-sized firms and bring together existing schemes."
According to Reuters, official documents from the Treasury show that the bank will be provided with capital of £50 million in 2013-14 and a further instalment of £250 million one year later.
By Claire Archer