Friday, 05 August 2011 09:21
However, the banks are on track to meet their overall lending targets to UK businesses.
The big UK banks, Barclays plc (LON:BARC), HSBC Holdings plc (LON:HSBA), Lloyds Banking Group plc (LON:LLOY), Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (LON:RBS) and Santander UK (LON:SANB), have narrowly missed their lending target to SMEs in the first half of the year as agreed upon under Project Merlin in February. After both HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland fell short of their targets the banks have lend a total of £37.4 billion to small businesses, instead of the agreed upon £38 billion.
However, the banks are on track to meet their overall lending targets to UK businesses with £100.4 billion in gross new lending during the first half of the year. The banks are committed to providing capacity of £190bn of gross new lending, including £76bn for SMEs, available in 2011, the British Bankers' Association said.
A spokesman for the Merlin banks said: "The Merlin banks are on track to meet their business lending commitments. The first half year performance demonstrates the banks’ commitment to providing businesses with the financial support they need to invest and grow and the significant progress made this year.
"The bank’s efforts to encourage customers to come forward with borrowing proposals are set against the overall economic environment which remains challenging and business demand for credit which remains weak."
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