In the pre-Budget report 15 months ago, Chancellor Alistair Darling announced that £4bn of EIB money would be made available to UK banks over a three-year time frame. His stated goal for the first year of the scheme was for £1bn to make it to these shores.
The treasury has claimed that £1.39bn has since been secured by participating banks, with £700m already having been given to a total of almost 3,000 SMEs. John Wright, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), expressed his pleasure at the numbers, but claimed more banks could get involved.
"The FSB welcomes the news that nearly 3,000 SMEs have benefited from low cost EIB loans," he said. "We continue to urge non-participating banks to enter the scheme to make the loans available to more SME clients."
The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Ian Pearson MP, claimed getting hold of the funding was a painless process.
"I want to encourage all businesses to get in touch with their local banks to find out if they can get access to this funding," he said. "It is an easy process and certainly worth pursuing."
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