UK bank lending to SMEs rises in third quarter of 2015

New figures show that bank lending to small businesses under the government’s ‘Funding for Lending Scheme’ rose significantly in the third quarter of 2015.

Funding for lending

Launched back in 2012, the Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS) was designed to boost UK bank lending. It basically allows lenders to borrow from the Bank of England (BoE) at a cheap rate, so they’ll feel secure enough to supply loans to consumers and businesses across the country.

The programme was amended in 2014 to focus on small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs). It’s been hailed as a success, and the Bank of England recently announced that the Scheme would be extended for another two years, as credit conditions for SMEs have not improved enough. Although, net lending to small companies was positive in the opening two quarters of this year.

Third quarter lending

The BoE has now released FLS figures for the third quarter of 2015. Reuters reported that bank lending to SMEs under the Scheme hit 700 million between July and September 2015, up 75% from £400 million the quarter before.

If you break these figures down, Lloyds can be seen to have lent the most money to small businesses between July and September of this year. They provided SMEs with £313 million in loans during this time frame. The Royal Bank of Scotland followed at £276 million and new bank Aldermore came third, raising net lending by 86 million in the quarter.

The BoE’s latest figures show that the FLS is continuing to provide banks with the incentive they need to lend to small business. The Scheme’s extension should ensure that lenders keep supply UK-based SMEs with the financial support they need to expand their operations.

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