Funding for Lending set to be extended, BCC backs decision

Wednesday 24 April 2013

Business meeting

Proposals to extend the Funding for Lending Scheme - due to expire in 2014- have been welcomed by a leading trade organisation.

John Longworth, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said the plans - being drawn up by the Chancellor George Osborne - show he is "listening hard" to UK businesses, and acting to address continued frustration around tighter credit conditions.

"While we will have to wait for firm details of the Treasury's proposals to emerge, we welcome the Chancellor's determination to look at ways to make Funding for Lending work for UK businesses, many of whom still feel frozen out from access to finance," he stated.

"Much will depend on lenders' appetite for risk, but widening the types of business finance covered by the scheme can only be a positive move."

However, Mr Longworth claimed the Chancellor and the Bank of England can, and should, go further.

He said that if they extended the backing of the Funding for Lending scheme's billions to the embryonic Business Bank, they "would energise a new and crucial player in the lending market".

Mr Longworth proposed that this could help solve the long-term structural gap in finance that continues to strangle far too many growth businesses across the UK.

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Posted by Steve Williams