Lloyds is on track to beat target on loans for UK manufacturers

City A.M. Reporter
BRITAIN’S biggest retail bank Lloyds said yesterday it was on course to beat its own target of lending £1bn to UK manufacturers before September 2013.

Lloyds, which is 39 per cent owned by the British government, said it had lent £700m to manufacturers in the past six months, following the launch of its Manufacturing Commitment last September.

“We have already seen a great appetite from manufacturing businesses that want to invest and expand even in these uncertain times,” David Oldfield, head of SME and mid-market banking at Lloyds, said in a statement.

Lloyds is using the Bank of England’s funding for lending scheme (FLS) to offer firms a one per cent cut in the interest rate for new business loans. The offer applies for the full term of the loan and to businesses of all sizes.

Like other British banks, Lloyds is under pressure from parliamentarians to increase lending but the banking group faces a difficult juggling act as it must also strengthen its financial position to meet tougher demands.