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Loan claim: Banks still failing businesses

New figures suggest that banks are still reluctant to lend to small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), continuing to hamper growth in the economy.

The SME Finance Monitor, by BDRC Continental, has revealed that only 39 per cent of the 5,000 businesses surveyed are using external finance.

This is in spite of government initiatives supposedly in place to help them, such as the Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS). The government invested in major banks under FLS under the agreement that they would extend this capital to SMEs and first time buyers.

While they have helped first time buyers, they have failed to extend loans to SMEs.

Experts fear that the lack of funding to businesses will restrict growth in the UK's economy, prolonging the country's austere climate.

Chief executive of the Forum of Private Businesses, Phil Orford, said: "It seems likely that the banks are still licking their wounds, and that may be the case for some time to come yet, but this pattern of decline can't continue if we are to have meaningful growth."

John Fieldman

Having worked in the city for 19 years, John's main focus is interest rates and corporate finance.ADNFCR-2776-ID-801592116-ADNFCR

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