Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Mandelson Puts Pressure on Banks over Business Loans

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Mandelson Puts Pressure on Banks over Business Loans

Article excerpt

Byline: Joe Murphy Political Editor

DOWNING STREET stepped up pressure on the banks this afternoon to give struggling industry a lifeline of cheaper loans.

As chief executives of the leading banks faced a dressing down at the Treasury, the Prime Minister's office warned they had not lived up to pledges given when they needed bailing out by the taxpayer.

Business Secretary Lord Mandelson announced that he would be joining Chancellor Alistair Darling at the talks. He said that pledges to lend more had been "an integral part" of the deal to recapitalise the banks.

"Those agreements have got to perform better in the future and that is what we will be discussing with the banks' representatives this afternoon," added Lord Mandelson.

The Business Secretary said he expected banks to say the problem was a lack of demand for lending. But he made clear that was not a good enough excuse.

"The Chancellor and I are not satisfied that lending is as it should be," he said. …

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