By Maximilian Clarke

The Project Merlin agreement reached between Government and the UK’s 5 leading banks stipulated a £190bn lending commitment to business in order to promote economic growth.

Of the £190bn to be lent by Barclays, HSBC, LBG, RBS and Santander, £76bn were specifically for small businesses, who had particularly struggled to acquire credit in the wake of the recession. However, figures from the Bank of England show for 2 out of 3 quarters so far in 2011 have failed to meet the forecast £19bn figure. Lenders had even prepared to exceed the £19bn, though managed to do so only during Q2 when lending reached £20.5bn.

Q3 lending figure stood at £18.8bn- £200m short of the target.

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