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Business Comment

James Moore: Funding for Lending flops, but firms still need help


Outlook When it comes to getting finance into the hands of small business, the Funding for Lending scheme has been a flop.

The Bank of England might have made cheap money available, but it isn’t going anywhere, at least not now action has been taken to stop it from pumping hot air into London’s property bubble. Is this because banks can’t lend, because customers are either paying off their debts and seeking alternative sources of finance, or because they won’t? That has been the subject of much heated debate.

But it’s a discussion that is becoming increasingly irrelevant because the net effect is the same.

There is a consensus that ensuring small businesses can access finance is vital to their continued health and the continued health of the British economy.

So surely a better discussion to have now would be to ask how best to get the funds that are available into firms’ hands if the banks aren’t able to do so. Kindly send suggestions on postcards to The Bank at Threadneedle Street, London.