Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 14th January 2009.

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Photo of Gordon Brown Gordon Brown The Prime Minister, Leader of the Labour Party 11:30 am, 14th January 2009

I admire the right hon. Gentleman's certainty, but let me just say this: we have asked the two banks in which we have shares to maintain the lending of 2007, which was a high level of lending both to businesses and to mortgage lenders. I believe that that is what they are doing at the moment, and we are monitoring what they are doing every week. As for placing further conditions on the banks, so that we can get more lending into the economy, we are making available the money that we have announced today, which will go to small businesses themselves. That is an important element of helping small businesses through these difficulties, but we will not hesitate to look at other measures that are necessary to get the financial system moving. All around the world, people have recapitalised the banks. All around the world, getting the funding moving is the important question. I believe that the measures we have taken today will make a difference, but we will not hesitate to take further measures when they are necessary.

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David Clark
Posted on 15 Jan 2009 2:54 pm (Report this annotation)

Most independent commentators agree that the Government has told the bank's to adopt to opposing policies. One is to build up their reserves and the other is to lend more. A clear statement from the Government is needed and action to ensure the banks adopt the chosen policy. Words used by Mr Brown like "asked" and "believe" are far too weak. The banks understandably look after their own interests.