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UK small business lending picks up in Q1 under BoE scheme

[LONDON] Lending to small businesses by banks in Britain taking part in the Bank of England's Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS) increased by 635 million pounds (S$1.3 billion) in the first quarter of this year, the BoE said on Thursday.

The FLS was launched in mid-2012 to provide cheap money to banks on condition that they lend to British businesses and households. It was amended at the start of 2014 to focus on small business lending.

The first quarter increase reversed an 800 million pound drop in lending by FLS participants in the previous quarter.

Most of the increase in the first quarter was by Lloyds Banking Group, where lending under the scheme rose by 409 million pounds.