Banks offer hope of more business loans

The UK's major high street banks have indicated that they will lend an extra £10 billion to small businesses next year.

In 2010, the banks loaned some £60 billion to smaller enterprises.

After a meeting with the Chancellor, George Osborne and Business Secretary, Vince Cable, representatives of the UK's largest banks suggested that small business lending may rise to £70 billion in 2011.

A spokesperson for the Department for Business said: "These proposals will be the subject of further discussions over the Christmas period, with the aim of building a sustainable cooperative relationship between the lenders and government in 2011 in support of the economic recovery."