FLS beginning to make an impact, CBI says

IN: Business news

The Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS), as launched by HM Treasury and the Bank of England (BoE), is beginning to have a positive impact on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the UK.

undefinedThat is according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), which issued a statement in response to the latest figures highlighted in the BoE's Trends in Lending data published today (January 21st).

As the official data showed, lending by all UK-resident banks and building societies hinted that the stock of lending to businesses declined by around £4 billion in the three months to November 2012.

Despite this, CBI director for competitive markets Matthew Fell pointed to positive figures within the data that showed the government-run scheme is proving positive for British SMEs.

He said: "Signs that lower borrowing costs are beginning to reach firms are encouraging and show that Funding for Lending is beginning to make an impact."

Mr Fell also pointed to figures that suggested some SMEs were lacking the confidence to invest as evidenced by weaker demand for finances "so raising awareness of available schemes is crucial".

As a British challenger bank, Aldermore has taken a leading role in boosting finance to SMEs, providing 46 per cent of all certified lending through the FLS in the third quarter of 2012 alone.

The scheme enables participants to borrow UK Treasury Bills in exchange for collateral during a drawdown period from August 1st 2012 to January 31st 2014, giving SMEs another full year to take advantage of available funding.

As the BoE report indicated, UK lenders anticipate their net lending to SMEs to increase in 2013, making the next 12 months paramount for small firms hoping to access finance so they can strengthen alongside the economy's return to growth.

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