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Banks set up venture capital fund for small businesses

Britain’s six biggest banks will pledge around £1bn into a new venture capital fund designed to capitalise stretched smaller business.

The project, looking to target a few dozen firms with a turnover of less than £250m, is a joint collaboration between the British Bankers’ Association, the Treasury and Department of Business.

The fund will be headed by Barclays chief executive John Varley (pictured) and is set to report to the Government this week following a timetable which was agreed during the summer.

In a statement the BBA says: “The banks formed a taskforce on business lending in July. We have been working with both government and representatives of the business community since then. We are due to present our report to the Chancellor and the business secretary of state shortly and will then publish it in full.

“The report will be comprehensive and will contain important and wide ranging recommendations.”

The banks taking part are Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC, Barclays, Santander UK and Standard Chartered. Each will initially inject a few tens of millions of pounds but over the course of the next few years, it is thought each has committed around £150-200m to the fund, although it is not certain how much each bank will contribute in total.

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  1. George Emsden ACIB 5th October 2010 at 11:28 am

    “Will target a few dozen firms with t/o of < £250 million!" These guys are really sticking their necks out aren't they? What about the thousands of one-man businesses who get shafted by their charges if they go over a limit or get their cheques bounced?

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