SNP MP and Member of the Treasury Select Committee Stewart Hosie has said that, as they return to profit, the banks which benefitted from public subsidy have a duty to lend to Scottish business and ensure Scotland’s recovery continues.
Mr Hosie’s call comes as the ‘State of the Economy – August 2010’ analysis produced by the Scottish Government found that the recession in Scotland was shorter and sharper that it was in the rest of the UK but weak bank lending was still hitting SMEs hard.
It is expected that several of the banks which benefited from public subsidies will announce return to profit this week.
Commenting, Mr Hosie said:
“Scotland went into recession a quarter later than the United Kingdom economy, and the rate of decline over the whole period was less north of the Border than it was across the UK. The Scottish economy is turning a corner but weak bank lending is a real cause for concern.
“While banks are understandably cautious about lending money, this concern must be balanced with the need to support growth in the economy.
“As the banks which have benefited from taxpayers’ money announce their return to profit this week, more than ever they have a duty to make finance available to Scottish businesses.”