To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps his Department (a) has taken since June 2007 and (b) plans to take in the next 12 months to improve the flow of credit to (i) small and (ii) medium-sized businesses; what discussions (A) he, (B) other Ministers in his Department and (C) departmental officials have had with the Confederation of British Industry about the issue; and if he will make a statement.
These build on measures announced on
The Government intend to negotiate with the banks participating in certain facilities lending responsibility agreements that will have specific and quantified lending commitments and that will be binding and externally audited.
The Government are taking specific action to meet the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises. On
The Government meet with a wide range of stakeholders, including representatives of small and medium-sized enterprises. As announced in the 2008 Pre-Budget Report, the Government have established a new lending panel, which will improve monitoring of lending to households and businesses. The work of this panel is supported by the Small Business Finance Forum, established by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform in November of last year.
The Government will continue to take all necessary measures to ensure the stability of the financial system, ensure lending to the economy, businesses and homeowners, and limit the depth and duration of the current recession and support the subsequent recovery.