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Gartcosh bottom for UK small business lending

The Gartcosh area of Glasgow has emerged as the area of the UK with the lowest level of small business lending, according to figures published by the British Bankers' Association.

A breakdown of bank lending revealed that the stock of lending held by small businesses in the G69 8 postcode amounted to just £23,179 at the end of September.

This compared to the £179.9 million held by small and medium-sized enterprises in the N16 6 postcode in North London, the area which had seen the most lending to small businesses.

A number of Scottish areas also appeared towards the top of the list for high bank lending including the EH3 9 and EH2 1 districts covering the much of central Edinburgh, which had stocks of £93.4m and £88.1m of bank loans respectively.

BBA chief economist Richard Woolhouse said: "We've been working hard to make this data as accurate and comprehensive as possible and it now covers 96% of lending to smaller businesses. But this data is complex and it remains very difficult to draw firm conclusions about lending at a local level."

Colin Borland, head of public affairs for the Federation of Small Businesses in Scotland, said: "Transparency is key to rebuilding small business confidence in the lending market, so this detailed piece of work is to be welcomed. However, I would hesitate to draw any firm conclusions from it."

But he added: "While the overall message from our members is that things are getting better, we know that the recovery is not uniform across the country."

He said called for monitoring to see if the gap in lending between areas narrows.

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