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Business lending 'up in Leicester'

Date Added: 03/09/2012  

New business lending figures show the amount of money being loaned to companies in Leicester has risen over the course of recent weeks.

According to data released by HSBC, lending is up by 35 per cent as the bank looks to improve the flow of credit to firms based in the Midlands.

Speaking to the Leicester Mercury, Mark Harris, who heads up the team in the Midlands, explained Leicestershire is seen as one of the key areas in the UK at the bank.

"It is very much contributing to that rise we have seen in our lending book. The government is encouraging us to export our way out of the recession and Leicestershire has a strong manufacturing base," he said, noting many international links have already been established as a result of the region's diverse population.

Pete Wood, senior corporate banking manager at the banking centre in Grove Park, added the agricultural and food industry is among the best performing sectors in the country at the present time and this is particularly strong in the Leicestershire area.

Mr Harris stated HSBC is currently operating at about an 80 per cent approval rate for business lending, which shows it is open to loaning money to those firms in need of a cash injection.

The government recently joined forces with the Bank of England to launch the Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS), which sees banks offered incentives to boost the flow of credit to both companies and households up and down the country.

Reaction to the FLS has been mixed from the business world, but Paul Fisher from the Monetary Policy Committee recently told an online presentation hosted by the Association of Corporate Treasurers that it is going to take time for it to be a success.

Mr Fisher noted there has been an "initial flurry" of interest in the FLS from the nation's banks.

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Posted by Miles Pritchard

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