• Net lending to SMEs rose by £239m in March 2013*

Commenting on the latest Bank of England figures on business lending, John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said:

“Although it is encouraging that lending to small businesses rose slightly in March, UK firms are clearly operating in a challenging credit environment. The new look Funding for Lending Scheme must work to rectify this and ensure that the money reaches fast-growing and relatively new firms, who continue to struggle to secure the credit they need.

“This is part of a wider problem around business finance. There has been a lot of talk around the Business Bank but it must be delivered with the sort of urgency and scale required for it to be a true player, and not a pretender, in the lending market. While not competing with commercial banks, the Business Bank should work towards plugging the gap in access to higher risk finance that so many firms are unable to cross.”


Notes to editors:

*Excludes changes in overdrafts.

Bank of England data: http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/statistics/Documents/mc/2013/mar/moneyandcredit.pdf

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) sits at the heart of a powerful nationwide network of 53 Accredited Chambers of Commerce, serving over 104,000 businesses across the UK, which employ over five million people. For more information visit: www.britishchambers.org.uk

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