Want to know how generous the banks are where you live?
In an announcement made today, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander outlined how you can find out exactly how much lending the big banks are doing in your area. From later this year, seven of the UK’s biggest banks will publish lending data per postcode, for 10,000 UK postcodes.
The banks, which include the Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC, Barclays, Santander UK, Nationwide, Yorkshire and Clydesdale Banks will give details of outstanding lending in three subdivided areas; small business lending, mortgage lending and unsecured personal loans.
The data will be published quarterly by the British Bankers' Association (BBA) and the Council of Mortgage Lenders
In his speech, Danny Alexander said that the Government expects this additional information “will highlight those more deprived areas where larger banks are often not willing to lend,” allowing smaller local and regional banks as well as Community Development Finance Institutions to move into these areas to help customers who are “crying out for support.” However, he also highlights the potential for increased competition across the lending market, as the figures will allow “new entrants to identify where there is unmet demand and to pursue new business in these areas.”
Of course, the downside is that less scrupulous firms like some payday lenders will soon know where exactly to target their marketing and advertising spend in order to get their claws into the most desperate. Wonga must be thanking God...
Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander said:
"The government is committed to creating a strong and safer banking system”
BBA Chief Executive Anthony Browne said:
“Britain's banks are working hard to restore business confidence through initiatives such as building a UK-wide network of business mentors, offering an independently-monitored appeals process for businesses whose borrowing applications have been declined, and working with alternative finance providers to provide access to different products."