Are banks loosening their purse strings?

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West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss has hosted a meeting with the Federation of Small Businesses and four of the leading banks.

The meeting heard that business lending is up around nine per cent on last year, but the number of applications for loans is down by about 20 per cent.

They also expressed concern at the quality of business plans being presented to them.

Retail, leisure and small service companies are also struggling to compete but agriculture continues to grow across East Anglia, banks said.

It comes ahead of a banking forum on January 11 at Lynford Hall in Munford.

“The meeting provided clear guidance on discussion points to be held in the January banking forum in Munford, which will include equity funding, crowd funding, as well as access to loans,” said Ms Truss.

“It will also provide the opportunity for businesses to meet the local banking representatives and quiz their MPs on the practical assistance that is being provided to SMEs.

“I would urge everyone to attend.”

It runs from 10.30am to 1pm.

Visit to register for the event.