The vice chairman of one of the UK’s biggest banks has said his company does not need a new multi-billion pound scheme to prevent a second credit crunch.
The Bank of England and Treasury announced an £80 billion cash injection to banks last week on the condition they pass it on to businesses and households in the form of cheaper loans and mortgages.
The move saw a sharp spike in banking shares although City and industry experts have warned that there is no guarantee the plan will kickstart lending.
However, Steve Cooper, vice chairman of Barclays business, said the scheme doesn’t address the core problem of companies’ reluctance to borrow, particularly in the face of a eurozone debt storm.
He said: “From a Barclays point of view I welcome it but we do not need it.
“We have liquidity of capital and equity by lending significant amounts to business.
“It is good news, but from a Barclays perspective we do not need that money to lend. The Government is doing a lot of things. I would like to see it a bit more joined up and connected.
“We expect to use the £1.5 billion from the National Loan Guarantee Scheme by the end of the summer.
“What the business community needs now is confidence.
“Confidence is damaged by a number of things like the eurozone. That is going to have a knock on effect in the UK.
“I see a robust SME community in the UK and the survival rate is pretty good.”
Mr Cooper, who was in the region for Barclays’ Ignite Business Growth event at the National Motorcycle Museum, said that claims by SMEs that banks weren’t lending – according to the Federation of Small Business one in five SMEs claim access to finance is their biggest barrier to growth – just didn’t stack up.