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Banks get billions but won’t lend

MPs are angry that banks which signed lending agreements for the asset protection scheme are not keeping their side of the bargain.

At a Treasury select committee meeting to discuss the Bank of England’s inflation report on Tuesday, Labour MP Nick Ainger said: “They signed the agreement and we have been thrusting billions at them and the ordinary person out there seems to be saying what about their side of the agreement? Now that all seems to be bad behaviour by the banks who have agreed to do something and seem not to be doing it.”

Committee chairman John McFall expressed frustration at UKFI which negotiated the lending agreements, saying more transparency is needed.

He said: “What we picked up in our visits around the country was a lot of anger and frustration and betrayal and if the transparency is not there, then taking the public along with us is going to be a lot harder.”

Bank of England governor Mervyn King said he shares concerns about the low level of lending but he expects it to increase over the coming months.

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