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News - 5 August 2012

Government launches Funding for Lending bank scheme (FLS).

The Bank of England and HM Treasury announced the launch of the Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS) on the 13th July.  It is designed to boost lending to households and businesses.  It works by allowing banks and building societies to borrow from the Bank of England for up to 4 years.  As security against that lending, banks will provide assets, such as business or mortgage loans, to the Bank of England.  Banks will be able to borrow during the 18 months from 1 August 2012 until 31 January 2014.

Banks will have strong incentives to boost lending, by lowering interest rates and increasing the availability of business loans and mortgages. The more that they lend, the more they can borrow from the Bank of England.  Banks that are increasing their lending will pay the lowest fee on their borrowing while those that reduce their lending they will pay a higher fee.  The Bank of England will publish data on the usage of the FLS along with lending data from the participants on a quarterly basis.

The scheme will ultimately supersede the £20bn National Loan Guarantee Scheme, which was only launched back in March, and will now be allowed to run down.

Labour's shadow Treasury minister Chris Leslie said:
"Despite promises from ministers, net lending to businesses has fallen in every month of this government, and there are serious questions about whether the new Funding for Lending scheme will really see lending to businesses become cheaper and easier to access."

Tonmoy Kumar, Manager of the Accounts Department of ABDS says:
“The purpose of the Bank of England's scheme is to make cheaper loans available to small and medium-sized firms, outside the financial sector.”

How the scheme will work

  • Banks and building societies can initially borrow Treasury bills up to 5% of the amount they currently lend
  • They will be charged just 0.25% interest, much lower than the going rate
  • They can borrow more than 5%, only if they increase their overall lending
  • If they decrease lending, the interest rate will increase up to 1.5%
  • The banks use the Treasury bills as backing to buy money cheaply on the financial markets. It is this money that they then lend out
  • The Bank of England and taxpayers will be protected from any losses made on the loans agreed by the banks with homes or firms, because the banks will have to provide collateral to the Bank of England of a higher value than the loans
  • Lending levels to be monitored by the Bank of England

John Walker Federation of Small Businesses said:
“Communication will be key - whatever the name of the scheme - to ensure that businesses actually benefit from it.”

If you need any help and advice for your business on Tax, VAT or the implications of Government Funding initiatives, contact Lavinia Newman, Stuart Coleman or Tonmoy Kumar to discuss how ABDS can help

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net

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