Just hours before the 2012 Budget announcement, the government has finally launched the National Loan Guarantee Scheme (NLGS) offering cheaper credit to small companies.
Businesses with a turnover below £50m will be able to access the funding, with no minimum loan size, from four of the UK’s biggest banks that have signed up to the government-backed initiative.
Barclays, Santander, Lloyds Banking Group and RBS will make £5bn of funds available in the first tranche and a further £15bn in six-monthly intervals over the next two years.
HSBC has not signed up to the scheme as it has cheaper access to funding through its large base of retail deposits.
About Robert Lovell
Business and finance journalist