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Govt looks to top banks for small business funding

The Government is looking to the top international investment banks to contribute to a state-backed fund to lend to small businesses.

Bosses from the big multinational banks were called to a meeting at 11 Downing Street yesterday with the Chancellor Alistair Darling and Business Secretary Lord Mandelson, where they were asked to look at the proposals, which Darling will look to announce in the pre-Budget report tomorrow.

Executives from the banks such as Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, and BNP Paribas, JP Morgan Chase and UBS are understood to have attended the secret meeting yesterday.

It is thought they were asked to stump up between £25 and £35m each for the new national investment corporation, on the grounds that it was part of their duty as “good corporate citizens”.

UK-based banks like HSBC and Standard Chartered are being pushed to contribute even more to the fund than their international-based counterparts.

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