By Simon Miller
UK banks have missed the small and medium business lending targets according to the Bank of England's Project Merlin figures.
Although lending to businesses totalled £214.9bn in 2011 against a target of £190bn, lending to small and medium business fell short by £1.1bn at £74.9bn.
A spokesman for the banks claimed the shortfall on SME lending was due to a lack of demand for lending which 'remains weak'.
Project Merlin was set up as a committment by banks to provide liquidity to businesses through loans and Barclays, Santander and Lloyds have claimed to have met their share of SME lending.
RBS claims that it favoured a 'stretch' target - believed to be 10% lower - and claims it has exceeded this target rather than its share of the £76bn which it says was the capacity lending limit not actual.