George Osborne unveils plans to launch new bank to fund small businesses

The chancellor has made his latest bid to bolster the faltering UK economy by revealing plans to launch a bank for SMEs – to make it easier for growing companies to access government funding.

The small business bank will not take deposits or try to compete with existing high street banks, but will have a strong private sector focus.

The bank will be responsible for keeping track of the numerous government schemes available at present, including the Business Finance Partnership and Enterprise Capital funds.

The Treasury is using similar banks operating in the US, Germany and Ireland as the model for this British version.

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