Lloyds to lend more than £1bn to UK manufacturers

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PARTLY taxpayer-owned Lloyds Bank revealed yesterday that it is on track to outstrip its £1 billion lending commitment to the UK’s battered manufacturing industry.

The bank – which is 39 per cent state-owned after its £17bn bailout following its takeover of HBOS during the financial crash – said it had already lent about £700 million to the country’s manufacturers following its commitment last September.

Lloyds also disclosed it had, in conjunction with the University of Warwick Manufacturing Group, trained 100 managers specifically “so they have an even better understanding of the manufacturing sector”.

The bank did not estimate by how much it expected to beat its former £1bn lending commitment to a much-diminished sector that now accounts for 12 per cent of the economy. In the 1970s it accounted for nearly a third of GDP.

David Oldfield, head of SME and mid-market banking at Lloyds, said the group had seen “a great appetite from manufacturing businesses that want to invest and expand even in these uncertain times”.