Business Briefs - May 29

BankofEnglandNet lending from banks participating in the UK Government’s Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS) to small and medium-sized enterprises grew by £635m in the first three months of the year, according to official data released by the Bank of England.

The figure represents a turnaround from the £800m decline in the final three months of 2014.

Most of the increase in the first quarter was by Lloyds Banking Group, which contributed £409m.

RBS Group and Shawbrook Bank also played a large part in the turnaround, lending £136m and £107m respectively.

The Bank of England and HM Treasury launched FLS in July 2012 and was amended at the start of 2014 to focus on small business lending.

British_Bankers_AssociationThere was a “significant pre-election jump” in the number of mortgage applications being approved, according to the British Bankers’ Association (BBA).

High Street banks saw approvals rise 7 per cent in April from March to 42,116, the BBA said.

Marking the fastest rise since September 2013, and the highest number for 10 months.

The BBA said one reason may have been the abolition of Stamp Duty on house purchases in Scotland, which was replaced by the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax on 1 April.

BBA figures would seem to contradict some reports that had suggested the housing market slowed down before the election, as richer buyers worried about Labour’s proposed Mansion Tax on homes worth more than £2m.

Falkirk-based bus producer Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) has secured an order for nearly 120 vehicles from Aberdeen-based transport giant FirstGroup.

The order, which is understood to be worth about £30m to ADL, includes single and double deck buses and midis.

It is part of an overall order by FirstGroup’s UK bus division for 385 new vehicles worth £77.7m.

Northern Ireland-based Wrightbus will manufacture 248 of the buses.

A further 117 will be made by ADL.

The new buses will be delivered across the UK during the current financial year, with 75 planned for Glasgow, 31 for the east of Scotland and seven for Aberdeen.

A new bill to increase the transparency of MSPs’ financial interests has been introduced by Stewart Stevenson MSP, on behalf of theScottish Parliament’s Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee.

Published this week, the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament (Amendment) Bill is the first committee bill this session and follows a detailed inquiry where the committee made a number of recommendations to streamline the reporting process for MSPs’ financial interests as well as widening the rules on paid advocacy.

Work starts on 400 new Glasgow and Edinburgh student apartment projects

Work is underway to create over 400 new student apartments in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

The developments at Orwell Terrace, Edinburgh and Willowbank in Glasgow’s West End will see Glasgow based construction and manufacturing specialist CCG (Scotland) Ltd utilise the latest offsite construction methods to build high quality and environmentally efficient accommodation in the quickest time possible.

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