Barclays announced today its intention to increase lending
to its UK customers and clients in 2009 by £11bn,
an increase of 6% on UK loan balances at the end of 2008.
Loan balances in the UK increased to record levels in 2008,
up 12% on the previous year. This move adds substantially
to the support which Barclays already provides to its UK
customers and clients.
Barclays additional lending will be directed, subject to
customer demand, commercial terms and credit criteria, to
UK homeowners and homebuyers (a £5.5bn increase in
lending) and businesses (a £5.5bn increase in lending).
The latter includes the £1.5bn increase in lending
to small and medium-sized enterprises announced on 15 December
Speaking at Barclays Annual General Meeting, Barclays Group
chief executive John Varley said: "At a time when customers
are seeking to cope with the economic downturn, and governments
and supervisors are dealing with the effects of the financial
crisis, we want to do our part in getting credit to customers.
Activity by households and businesses will help restore
sustainable growth to the UK economy. This is a good time
to lend, in circumstances where the commercial and risk
terms make sense to our customers and our shareholders."