The latest set of figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that, despite the upturn in the economy in the third quarter of 2012 - buoyed by The Queen's Jubilee and the Olympics - UK GDP has once again begun to shrink.
"We have a reminder today that Britain faces a very difficult economic situation," said Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne.
"It underlines what the Governor of the Bank of England said this week: while the economy is healing, it is a difficult road."
Opposition leaders have contested Osborne's optimism, however, calling for government intervention to reinvigorate the flagging economy.
Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls, said it was time for Osborne to consider a 'Plan B', advising, "We should also bring forward infrastructure investment including building thousands of affordable homes and establish a British Investment Bank to boost lending to small businesses."
Commenting on the ONS's GDP announcement on Friday, Phillip Monks, Aldermore CEO, said:
"These disappointing figures are yet another blow to UK growth aspirations. The Government is doing all it can to increase lending volumes and get the country back on track through initiatives such as the FLS and the proposed business bank.
"But, for the effects to really be felt, banks must be prepared to do more to support their business customers. In today's difficult economic climate, British bosses are giving their all to keep their companies moving in the right direction. As a champion of SME lending, Aldermore is committed to supporting them and, in turn the real economy - the key to Britain's economic growth and prosperity."
As an organisation, Aldermore support initiatives to encourage SME growth, including the proposed UK business bank, and we hope to see the UK government continue to provide solutions to prevent Britain from once again lapsing into recession.
Furthermore, Aldermore is committed to reaching out to the SME community in order to design financial services with the particular needs of small businesses in mind. Indeed, we are currently asking companies across the UK to give us their thoughts on small business savings. You can take the survey here.
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