In July, six of the UK’s largest banks joined forces with the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) to form the Business Finance Task Force. The Task Force – consisting of Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander and Standard Chartered – was set up to examine how banks can do more to help Britain return to sustainable growth.

Their report, "Supporting UK Business", was published this week.  It acknowledges the "special responsibilities" that banks must assume if the UK economy is to emerge strongly from the financial crisis. The report is also, no doubt, an attempt by the Task Force to counter the current tide of damaging public dissatisfaction with banks and their remuneration policies. In recent months, UK banks have been dogged by media-fuelled accusations that they are filling their bonus pools at the expense of UK businesses by restricting the supply of reasonably priced credit to…

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