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Banks set out details on business lending taskforce

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UK banks have announced their plans for a taskforce aimed at improving the level of lending to businesses.

Creation of the taskforce was one of the policies set out in the government’s Green Paper on business finance.

The British Bankers’ Association (BBA) has now written to the Chancellor, George Osborne, updating him on the objectives of the taskforce, which will comprise representatives of the six main banks, the Business Department, the Treasury and the Bank of England.

The overall purpose of the taskforce is to produce a financial market that is more supportive of business.

To achieve this, the BBA said that the taskforce will look at a series of issues.

These include an analysis of both the supply and demand for business finance; measures to restart the securitisation market as a way of addressing funding problems; actions that are needed to make sure that mid-market firms (from £10 million to £100 million in turnover) have access to appropriate finance; an examination of the problems that relate specifically to smaller firms (with a turnover up to £10 million); and a review of trade finance so that UK firms are better placed to export.

In the letter, Stephen Green, the BBA’s chairman, said that UK banks agreed that it is essential credit is made available to viable businesses and that the taskforce would report its findings to the Chancellor by early October.