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U.K. Banks not signing up to Government Guaranteed Loans to small Businesses

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U.K. Banks not signing up to Government Guaranteed Loans to small Businesses

Post  Panda on Fri 17 Feb - 17:50

Exclusive: Bankers Wary Over Credit Easing Plan

Mark Kleinman

February 15, 2012 2:31 PM

I have learned that the Chancellor’s flagship programme for
funnelling cheaper loans to small businesses is encountering
difficulties weeks before he is due to unveil the details in his Budget
The National Loan Guarantee Scheme was announced by
George Osborne last autumn and is designed to accelerate the flow of
£20bn of bank loans underwritten by the Government to small and
medium-sized companies (SMEs).
However, I’m told that just five
weeks before his Budget statement, none of the major British high street
banks has yet formally signed up to the scheme, and at least one is
raising objections to the way the scheme is structured under proposals
being discussed with the Treasury.
The new ‘credit easing’
programme is designed to lower the interest rate paid by SMEs for bank
loans by as much as 1 percentage point, by allowing banks to benefit
from a Government guarantee.
A decision by any of the major high
street banks not to sign up to the NLGS would be intensely embarrassing
to the Treasury, particularly in light of my disclosure last week that
the industry had not met a target for SME lending in 2011.
One banker said to me today it was “undecided” about whether to take part on the terms currently under discussion.
obvious reasons, it’s unthinkable that Lloyds Banking Group and Royal
Bank of Scotland (the two banks part-owned by British taxpayers) won’t
sign up. I’m told, though, that Barclays and at least one other bank are
more sceptical, although they back the idea of the scheme in principle,
according to insiders.
Accelerating the flow of credit to SMEs
has become a central plank of the debate about the Coalition’s handling
of the UK economy. Banks have argued for the last two years that
additional capital and liquidity rules are forcing up regulatory costs
while demand for new loans is subdued from the SME sector.
Treasury spokesman said it remained on course to launch the loan
guarantee scheme “at or around the time of the Budget”. The banks
declined to comment.

Can you believe these bl***y Banks? it is their fault that the World is in such a mess, yet they are reluctant to administer an Account funded by the
Government to lend to small Businesses!!!!
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