Banks to boost business loans

BRITAIN’S banks are set to propose a collection of measures to help boost lending to small businesses in a bid to persuade ministers they are prepared to aid long-term economic growth.

A task force consisting of chief executives from every major British bank, reported by Sky News, was set up three months ago and will recommend the establishment of a fund, which each bank would inject money into.

It is understood that the fund, which is currently subject to approval from individual board members, will seek to provide equity for a number of smaller businesses across the UK and will be managed centrally. This means that each of the banks will be an investor in the companies that the fund invests.

An announcement is expected in roughly a week’s time, where the plan will be detailed including how each bank will contribute to the fund.

A statement from the British Bankers Association issued yesterday said: “The banks formed a Taskforce on Business Lending in July. We have been working with both government and representatives of the business community since then. We are due to present our report to the chancellor and the Business secretary of state shortly and will then publish it in full.

“The report will be comprehensive and will contain important and wide ranging recommendations. We will not be making any comment on the detail of its contents until after the discussion with the ministers.”