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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer
(1) what sanctions he has considered introducing in the event that the banks participating in Project Merlin do not meet their lending targets;
(2) what sanctions Ministers and officials of his Department and representatives of the banking sector discussed imposing in the event that banks participating in Project Merlin did not meet their agreed lending targets during the negotiations for that agreement.
The commitment to make new lending to SMEs is part of the performance metrics of each bank’s chief executive and those of the senior managers responsible for SME lending. The Government reserve the right to return to this issue and take further measures if the banks fail to live up to their commitments.