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23 Jun 2009 : Column 880W—continued

Working Capital Scheme

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills when the Working Capital Scheme began operation; and how much funding has been provided under the scheme. [261386]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 6 March 2009]: The Working Capital Guarantee Scheme was formally launched on 2 March 2009 as planned when announced by the Secretary of State on the 14 January.

We have signed £1 billion of guarantees with RBS and Lloyds for portfolios of £2 billion. The financing for businesses it releases has already started from 1 March as a result of the lending agreements based on the Asset Protection Scheme and WCS. We will be allocating from the £10 billion WCS, guarantees for trade credit insurance in response to the constraint to working capital arising from withdrawal of trade credit insurance. We will also be consulting on the viability of using some of these guarantees for letters of credit and other forms of export finance which are also possible areas of constraint for working capital.

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