I read in The Times today that there is confidence among City institutions that the quantitiatve easing initiative is easing the recession for the UK business community (click here to read “Money Printing Scheme Is Working, Bank Of England Says”). Commenting on the Bank of England’s three monthly Credit Conditions Survey, Howard Archer at IHS Global Insight commented that “…the survey at least boosts hopes that quantitative easing and other policy measures…are increasingly feeding through to have a beneficial impact…”.
That’s interesting. Because whenever I meet business colleagues in Kent – which is pretty much every couple of days on an individual basis, and collectively at regular business breakfasts and other events – the crie de coeur from almost every business without exception is for banks and other lending institutions to be more sensible about making loans to SME customers, and for the Government business rescue schemes to be simpler and ‘do what they say on the tin’ – rather than establishing a complicated maze of bureacracy even to get to application stage.
Clearly some disparity here, so I checked on the Bank of England website to see who the respondents to the Credit Conditions Survey were. A range of small and medium-sized businesses? A collection of hard-pressed business entrepreneurs? No. As you’ll see from the opening paragraph on the website, the input to this survey appears to be from “bank and non-bank lenders” – some of the very people our small businesses are having terminal problems with.
Did I hear someone mention poachers and gamekeepers?