Builders blast bankers over lack of lending

Grant Prior 13 years ago

Construction companies are still struggling to secure loans despite banks reporting surging profits this week.

Bankers are coming under fire for not lending enough money to firms as they post soaring profits and continue paying huge bonuses to employees.

The National Federation of Builders is backing Chancellor George Osborne’s call for banks to increase lending to businesses.

Julia Evans, Chief Executive of the NFB said: “Banks should place a greater importance on the value to the economy of small businesses and increase lending to viable businesses.

“Banks need to be mindful that they do not jeopardise the long term relationships with businesses for the sake of short term gains.”

Public outrage is turning on bankers as HSBC kicked-off a run of healthy results yesterday by announcing a £7bn profit for the first half of the year.

One small builder told the Enquirer: “I’ve heard them claim that people aren’t asking to borrow money but that’s nonsense.

“Starving contractors of funding will harm any recovery. We bailed-out a lot of these banks through our tax payments.

“Now they seem to be shoveling profits back to employees in the form of bonuses when they should be made to lend it to companies working in the real economy”

Brian Berry, Director of External Affairs at the Federation of Master Builders said:”Small construction companies are still struggling to survive in the current economic climate in which one late payment from a customer may cause a cash flow crisis that can send a firm to the wall if the bank withdraws its support.

“Many firms are unable to secure loans or even retain their existing overdrafts, and as a result many are going out of business which is pushing up unemployment in the building sector.

“It is totally unacceptable for banks to be charging higher rates to small businesses and jeopardizing their futures, in order to fund the return to bonus bonanzas for banks.

“Given the billions of pounds that have been pumped into the banking sector, and the billions of pounds in profits they are now making, the very least we expect from the banks is help for the small businesses which are essential to the UK’s economic recovery from the recession.

“Taxpayers helped the banks when they were in trouble now it is now time for them to return the favour to help the small business community.”

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