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Bank business lending continues to fall

Banks are failing to lend more to UK businesses as figures fell by almost 50 per cent on 2008’s lending statistics.

According to the latest data from the Bank of England, lending to UK business fell by 4.2 per cent in May 2009, a net reduction of £3.4bn. This drop is on top of April’s net reduction of £6bn, which means net lending is still almost 50 per cent down on May 2008’s lending numbers of +£2.4bn.

A spokeswoman for the Federation of Small Business says these figures are disappointing but members are beginning to report some signs of improved access to credit.

She says: “Banks need to lend to help businesses survive, but we are hearing that some members are finding it easier to get hold of money. Before March they all seemed to be hitting brick walls, but over the last few months money seems to be trickling down.

“From anecdotal evidence we may see an improvement in figures in the coming months.”

Lloyds TSB Commercial managing director John Maltby says: “Businesses will need support in order to ensure the momentum of any recovery and banks will play a crucial part in helping firms face this challenge. We’re committed to helping UK businesses, not only to survive the recession, but to prosper as the economy recovers.”

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