EEF blog

Insights into UK manufacturing

Support for your business - Enterprise Finance Guarantee

Jeegar Kakkad February 20, 2009 17:22

With the constant drip of bad economic data showing how much businesses are suffering from the lack of credit, it's good to get sense of how effetive the range of government schemes have been in improving the access to credit.

And today we've received more detail about how one of those schemes - the Enterprise Finance Guarantee - has fared. Announced in November's Pre-Budget and launched on 14 January, the Enterprise Finance Guarantee is a £1bn loan guarantee scheme delivered provides a 75% government guarantee on individual loans of up to £1m to viable businesses with annual turnover of up to £25m. The guarantee can be used to support new loans, refinance existing loans or to convert part or all of an existing overdraft into a loan to release capacity to meet working capital requirements.

So far, more than £40 million in loans have already been offered and are being processed, with £14 million in loans processed in the past week alone. While the government touts this as £1m in loans a day, only 400 companies have benefited so far.

Although there have been some hiccoughs implementing the Enterprise Finance Guarantee, we should probably be realistic in terms of expectations...both banks and businesses will take time to understand the scheme and to get it - and other schemes - up and running so businesses can benefit.

Any business looking for help or further information should check here.


Happy 200th Birthday, Charles Darwin

Jeegar Kakkad February 12, 2009 13:29

On Darwin's 200th birthday, the FT has a story today noting that although failures are normal for new businesses, a lack of funding has left even the UK's most promising - and presumably fittest - start-ups cash-strapped and fighting for survival.




Support for your business - Asset Purchase Facility

Jeegar Kakkad February 11, 2009 13:01

Last week, we linked to a couple of overviews of the recent rash of government schemes to ease credit conditions.

We now have a lot more detail about how one of those schemes - the £50bn Asset Purchase Facility - will work.

The simple goal of the Asset Purchase Facility is to increase the access to finance for really large companies. Larger businesses tend to borrow from credit markets, not banks. But these markets have been essentially frozen since the summer of 2007.

The Bank's Asset Purchase Facility is a kind of middle man between markets and corporates. The BoE will sell Treasury bonds to the credit markets to raise cash. It then takes that cash and buys commercial paper (short-term debt from large companies) and corporate bonds (longer-term debt).

The sum result is that while there is no new money directly created by these transactions, the BoE is able to channel existing credit to markets - in this case very large companies - that need it.

In light of today's Bank of England Inflation Report, EEF's Chief Economist Stephen Radley notes, however, that if the BoE feels that the economy is deteriorating too fast and that deflation is a more realistic threat, the APF could take on a less boring role:

"The Bank warns that some of the traditional mechanisms of monetary policy are not working as effectively as in normal times and will lose their power if interest rates get closer to zero.  It indicates that if inflation shows signs of falling too low, it will use its Asset Purchase Facility (APF) to help achieve the inflation target. Currently, the APF (a £50bn fund financed by sales of government securities) is being used to buy up high quality assets and reduce the rates of interest on them. However, the Bank will not hesitate from looking to boost the money supply by creating central bank reserves and using these to buy up the high quality assets in effect printing money." 

This is an informal blog about manufacturing and the economy written by EEF's policy and representation staff. While it is written from an EEF perspective, contributions should not be taken as formal statements of EEF policy, unless stated otherwise. Nor does it cover all the issues on which we campaign - you can check these out in more detail at our main site.

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