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Diamond to shine over lending targets

Barclays is set to reveal that it has exceeded the lending targets agreed with the Government when it unveils its annual results on Friday. The bank is expected to say that it made more than £14bn available for small businesses to borrow, plus more than £40bn in total for all businesses. The bank will also say that the key net lending figure, which takes into account repayments, is up, despite the overall figure for 2012 showing a fall.

Chief executive Bob Diamond signed up to the targets under a bilateral agreement with the Government in February 2011. Similar agreements to make credit available were signed by Lloyds, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and Spain's Banco Santander.