In today’s Budget speech, Darling said that between them RBS and Lloyds lent £38bn to small and medium businesses last year but the Government wants this to increase significantly.
The Government has set a target of £94bn of new lending for the state-owned banks, with half of this being lent to small businesses.
Darling also pledged to speed up the licensing of new banks looking to come to market.
RBS Group chariman Philip Hampton says: “We have the capital to make this lending available to support our customers. The right amount of debt for business will be greatly influenced by the pace of economic recovery. We are committed to ensuring our credit worthy personal and business customers can access the funding they require.”
RBS says the agreement includes £8bn of net lending available for mortgage customers.
Lloyds has agreed with the Government to lend £44bn in total gross new business lending and £23bn in total gross new mortgage lending, excluding remortgages, which is includes the extra £3bn agreed under its lending agreement with the Government. The bank expects to lend £67bn, excluding remortgages, to UK businesses and homeowners over the next 12 months.
Between March 2009 and February 2010, Lloyds’ total gross mortgage lending, including its lending commitment, was £35bn.