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May 23, 2011

Britain's banks fail to meet lending target



LONDON (AP) — Britain's major banks are failing to meet pledges to the government to increase lending to small and medium enterprises.

The Bank of England revealed on Monday that banks lent some 16.8 billion pounds ($27 billion) in the first three months of the year. That's 2.2 billion pounds short of the amount they agreed to lend in the quarter under the so–called Project Merlin agreement with the government.

The deal, unveiled in February, followed long talks between the top five banks and the Treasury over controversial issues such as bonuses and lending. Under the agreement, banks pledged to increase lending to small and medium enterprises to 76 billion pounds this year.



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