Bank profits grow but calls for SME lending continue


Bank profits grow but calls for SME lending continue

Alex Scroxton

The banks are being urged to do more to lend to small businesses with signs that where possible the finance sector is giving finance to those larger firms it deems to be safer bets.

The call for more lending came on the day that Barclays unveiled profits of £1.34bn for the three months to 30 September and stated that it had delivered on its commitment to lend to SMEs as part of the government scheme Project Merlin.

But speaking on Radio 4 this morning one financial analyst said that even with banks like Barclays hitting their Merlin commitments more could be done and there still continued to be more levels of lending at the top-end of the market.

Credit to small firms has been a constant theme of the last few years, exacerbated by the recession, and SME lobby groups have been forthright in their demands for changes, some of which have been picked up by the government.

The Chancellor George Osborne is expected to unveil more credit support for small businesses in the Autumn Statement, due next month.

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