Six British banks propose to kick-start lending

| October 13, 2010 | 0 Comments
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The bosses of Britain’s top six banks have revealed a £1.5 billion fund, designed to kick-start lending to small businesses.

It was announced in August that the chief executives of Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Banking Group, Standard Chartered and the heads of the UK operations of HSBC and Santander, would address the shortage of lending to businesses.

British Bankers’ Association (BBA) chairman, Stephen Green, who is also chairman of HSBC, said the taskforce is designed to help get lending to businesses back on track.

Barclays Chief Executive John Varley, who is also chairman of the taskforce, comments: “As banks we have an obligation to help the UK economy return to growth. The private sector will play a key role in the recovery and it’s our job to help viable firms to be successful.”

The proposals come after figures show net borrowing by UK businesses has fallen by about 6%, with lending to businesses falling more significantly in this recession than those in the early 1980s and 1990s.

In related news, John Varley will be departing Barclays next year and will be replaced by Bob Diamond, currently president of Barclays PLC and chief executive officer of the group’s Corporate and Investment Banking and Wealth Management units.

In addition Stephen Green is moving on to take up the post of trade minister with the Coalition Government.

Both are well-respected bankers who have steered their banks through the financial crisis without the need for taxpayer support.

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