UK 'will receive EC approval for loan scheme'

14 March 2012

Britain will receive regulatory approval for its proposed new system aimed at enhancing the level of credit available to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), it has been revealed.

An insider with knowledge on the matter has informed Reuters that, following a period of assessment and analysis, the European Commission (EC) has decided that the National Loan Guarantee Scheme does not contravene competition laws.

This government initiative - which was unveiled by chancellor George Osborne in November last year - has been specifically designed to give SMEs struggling to gain finance from banks a chance of getting the cash they need to grow in the wake the recession.

The Conservative-Liberal Democrat alliance wants the £20 billion ($31 billion) scheme to reduce the cost of borrowing for companies by providing government guarantees for funding from financiers.

"Approval from the EC is imminent and could come in the next few days," said the source.

By Gary Cooper

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