RTTNews - British Chancellor Alistair Darling on Monday urged banks to increase their lending to small firms.

During a meeting with senior bankers, Darling stressed the need for a competitive banking system in the U.K.

According to data released by the British Bankers' Association on Monday, lending to small businesses rose GBP 391 million in June, more than GBP 133 million increase in May.

BBA Statistics Director David Dooks has said, These figures provide more evidence of the high street banks' support for small businesses.

But, Darling told the BBC News on Sunday that he is extremely concerned about charges banks taking on loans to small businesses.

The British Chambers of Commerce said banks need to be transparent and open about their approach to lending to small firms.

The situation is complicated but the government certainly needs to keep the pressure up, David Frost, Director General of the BCC said.

It will be business that drives the U.K. out of recession, but that can only happen if the banks are prepared to play their part. I am still hearing too many stories of small businesses being unable to access appropriate financing, Frost said.

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