If you ask any small business to list the issues that most affect its daily activity, you would get very short odds on at least part of the answer being access to finance. Over the last five years, banks have been vilified both for lending too frivolously and too modestly - quite an achievement, even for a banker.
Targets or no targets, the government's Project Merlin scheme designed to get the banks to significantly boost lending to small businesses has fallen short of achieving its aims.
Lending by Britain's top five banks shrank every quarter last year, official figures revealed today, in an embarrassing blow
Project Merlin, a government-brokered deal to free up bank lending to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK
It's accepted that a key obstacle for growth is the banks' unwillingness to lend to SMEs. But not even getting the same attention
It seems to me to be one very large gamble and I'm not entirely sure it will work. In fact, I fear it will simply mean that most people in Britain will end up paying more for poorer quality public services that have been channelled toward the private sector, all through the back door.
Chancellor George Osborne’s promise to further help small businesses through a programme of “credit easing”, in another attempt