UK retail banks agree to give local detail on business loans
THE BRITISH government struck a deal with the UK's main retail banks to provide local detail of their lending to businesses. Seven lenders, which make up 80pc of UK company lending, will provide data on 10,000 postal codes, allowing the government to target where there are gaps.
"From next year businesses will be able to see exactly where the major banks are lending – up to within a few streets of their premises," said chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander (pictured). "It is a major step forward in terms of transparency and should encourage competition by helping smaller lenders to identify gaps in the market and allowing businesses to hold their local bank to account where they aren't lending."
Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds, HSBC, Barclays, Santander, Nationwide Building Society and National Australia Bank's Yorkshire and Clydesdale units have signed up.
Meanwhile Business Secretary Vince Cable in a 'Financial Times' interview criticised Bank of England policy makers, whom he labeled a "capital Taliban" for imposing burdens on banks that are limiting lending.