• From The BBC:

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    Government initiatives to get banks lending have failed, shadow business secretary Kenneth Clarke has said.
    Mr Clarke said a Federation of Small Businesses survey suggested only 8% of small firms found banks had made credit available under new guarantees.
    He also said the HBOS and Lloyds TSB merger had been a “disaster”, more so for the latter institution.
    The chancellor, meanwhile, has sought to quell speculation that the Lloyds Banking Group could be nationalised.
    On Friday, Lloyds said its subsidiary, HBOS, which the government encouraged it to buy last year, would make a loss of nearly £11bn.
    Shares in Lloyds Banking Group, which is 43% owned by the taxpayer, closed down 32.5% after the surprise announcement.
    But speaking at the G7 summit in Rome, Chancellor Alistair Darling said: “I’ve made it very, very clear on a number of occasions that we believe that banks are best run in the commercial sector and privatel…

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    Posted by Jon @ 6:01 pm

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