Oakshott brands bank lending figures as 'disastrous'
Liberal Democrat peer Lord Oakshott has described Bank of England figures that show the number of loans being offered by banks have fallen, in spite of the Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS), as "disastrous".
Prime Minister David Cameron's spokesman has said the Government and the Bank had always made clear that it would take some time before the impact of the Funding for Lending scheme was felt, and that it was not expected as early as the fourth quarter of 2012.
But shadow chancellor Ed Balls said: "These are deeply disappointing figures. Net lending is actually down since the FLS started and down by £2.4bn in the final three months of 2012. And the Bank of England's own figures show that net lending to businesses fell by £4.5 billion in the last quarter.
"Businesses are losing patience with this Government. After nearly three years of failure, the Chancellor must explain what action he will take to finally boost net lending to small and medium-sized firms, which is vital if we are to get our economy moving."
Director: Lending could have fallen more without FLS
A scheme aimed at boosting credit to households and businesses has so far failed to get banks and building societies to lend more, figures showed today.
The Bank of England said net lending in the quarter to December 31 fell by £2.4 billion on the previous quarter, despite participants of the Bank of England's Funding for Lending (FLS) scheme drawing down another £9.5 billion over the period.
It is not entirely unexpected that lending has gone down. The Bank would say that this is not a bad thing, in the absence of the FLS, lending might have fallen even more.
Net lending by scheme participants was down £2.4bn in the final quarter of 2012. The scheme - a joint effort between the government and the banks to increase lending to both individuals and businesses - was launched last August.