THE BANK of
Net lending to the
The continued decline in lending to companies comes despite solid economic growth in the first quarter of the year. Small and medium-sized firms were the hardest-hit in March, with a £1.1bn fall in net lending, the largest in more than a year. Despite this, the Bank continues to state that credit availability is less constrained.
"Increased credit availability to firms is not yet translating into rising net lending," said
He said: "As demand for credit does pick up, it is vitally important for healthy and more balanced
Other types of lending did increase during the month: unsecured credit to consumers climbed to the highest level in a year and a half, at £1.1bn.
The number of newly approved mortgages dropped between February and March, the second decline recorded by the Bank. There were 67,135 loans approved for house purchases, a drop of nearly 10,000 from January's particularly strong reading. However, the figure has risen by nearly 25 per cent since the same month in 2013, following the housing market's recovery.
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