Government urges banks to support social lending

Banks have been told to work with community development finance institutions and credit unions to increase support for the social lending sector as part of their bail-out by the Government.

In a House of Commons debate last week, shadow charities minister Nick Hurd and Margaret Moran, Labour MP for Luton South, asked third sector minister Kevin Brennan to tell them what banks were doing to encourage liquidity in the social lending sector.

Brennan said the Government had "already secured a commitment from the banks participating in the recapitalisation scheme to maintain the availability of lending and marketing at 2007 levels".

He added: "We have made it clear that there will need to be a focus on making lending available for small businesses, including social enterprises."

Bernie Morgan, chief executive of CDFI umbrella group the Community Development Finance Association, welcomed the debate and said there was "a promise previous promises would be kept".

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