Banks commit to 15% increase in lending to SMEs

Calculator and piggy bank

The statement by Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, RBS and, with respect to lending, Santander, follows a period of discussion between the Government and the banks, known as Project Merlin.

The banks have stated a capacity and willingness to make available £190bn of new credit to business in 2011, up from £179bn actual lending in 2010. If demand exceeds this, the banks have indicated they will lend more.

Approximately £76bn of this new lending capacity will be to SME, a 15% increase on the

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