The accountancy firm Ernst & Young has estimated that lending to businesses will rise for the first time in 4 years to 3% or £440bn. The report, Ernst & Young Item Club, has accredited the governments Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS) as making a big difference in these figures but also that commercial banks have increased access to funds which is making it easier for them to lend. In 2012 borrowing fell by 5% on the previous year so the increase follows a large previous dip making this report even more positive. The FLS is now due to be extended into 2015 and the Bank of England will continue to allow banks and building societies to borrow money at a cheaper rate but only if they continue to pass on the saving to businesses. Andy Baldwin, head of financial services in Europe of E&Y has said, “Our analysis suggests the main drivers of banks’ return to lending will be better access to wholesale funding and a decrease in non-performing loans, rather than the Funding for Lending Scheme making a material difference.” The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article. Setfords Solicitors are a national full service law firm, with business law solicitors in Milton Keynes and across the country.