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Funding for Lending Scheme Extension Aimed at SMEs

Published: 28/05/13

The Bank and HM Treasury launched the Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS) on 13 July 2012. It was designed to incentivise banks and building societies to boost their lending to the UK real economy.
Towards the end of last month the Bank announced its decision to extend the scheme, so that drawings can be permitted until 31 January 2015.


The £80 billion scheme - which offers incentives to banks to increase the amount they lend to both businesses and households – will continue with greater emphasis on lending towards small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
Banks will also be given greater allowances to incentivise lending, while other banks and institutions such as creditors will also be eligible to join the scheme.


Announcing the extension, the Bank said there had been more lending than there would have been without the scheme since its launch in August last year. "But the improvement in credit conditions since summer 2012 has been less marked for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) than for larger businesses and households," it said.
The Bank continued “…the incentives to boost net lending will be heavily skewed towards SMEs. New allowances for drawings in the extension period will be calculated on the basis of banks’ lending behaviour.
“For every £1 of net lending to SMEs in 2014, banks will be able to draw £5 from the scheme in the extension period. And to encourage banks to lend to SMEs sooner rather than later, every £1 of net lending to SMEs during the remainder of 2013 will be worth £10 of initial borrowing allowance in 2014. “


The move has been widely expected since it was announced in the Chancellor's March Budget; following criticism that it has failed to increase lending to small businesses as was intended.
Key facts about the FLS:

  • The scheme offers incentives to institutions that increase the amount they lend
  • The scheme will be extended by one year until January 2015
  • The incentives will now be 'heavily skewed' towards SMEs
  • The type of eligible institutions will be extended to include certain creditors
  • Every £1 lent to SMEs in 2014 will enable banks to draw a further £5 from the scheme
  • Every £1 lent to SMEs for the remainder of 2013 will enable banks to draw £10 from the scheme in 2014.

 

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