File on 4: are banks bad for business?

The government wants British banks to lend more money to small and medium-sized businesses, but entrepreneurs claim loans are not forthcoming.

When businessman Harry Murray hit cash-flow problems he never dreamt his bank would stop his company's overdraft and freeze its assets, especially as his joinery firm had promises of a full order book. It broke his heart to sell the factory that his family had worked so hard for.

Now, six months on, business is booming and the company expects to make a profit this year. But, Harry says, this is not thanks to the bank.

The Royal Bank of Scotland say "We worked with Mr Murray over about a year and a half in difficult times, and we got to the position at the end where we felt the right thing to do for the bank and for the tax payer was to work with Mr Murray and work out how he could repay the facility. That was the right decision we made at the time".

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