Government loan scheme: what the news sites say

The Times quotes insolvency practitioner Alan Tomlinson as saying the government’s efforts “may come too late for some struggling firms”.

On the BBC, commentators such as Alchemy Partners Jon Moulton voice similar concerns. According to Moulton: "Twenty billion pounds is not a very large number in the context of the problem. I would be a lot happier if the scheme was a lot larger.”

In the Guardian, George Osborne argues the initiative is a belated copy of the Conservative Party’s £50bn loan guarantee scheme. "Let us hope that they will properly implement this Conservative policy rather than a pale imitation, or else they run the risk of repeating the mistakes of their expensive temporary VAT cut and achieving nothing," he said.

Economist Howard Archer at IHS Global Insight adds: "It won’t save the economy from recession – we are already well into that – and obviously the economy still faces an extremely difficult year, but it is definitely a very welcome move. Helping small businesses is absolutely critical."

In an editorial on the scheme, the FT praises the government for doing something to get the banks lending to businesses while noting that it’s unlikely to do “all that the government claims for it”.

“But a jump-start for bank lending to smaller businesses needs to happen – and to happen now.”

Meanwhile, the Telegraph reveals that the chairman of Standard Chartered bank, Mervyn Davies, has been appointed Trade Minister. Business Secretary Peter Mandelson tells the Telegraph that Davies will be doing “extremely valuable work in promoting trade and investment, as well as using his own experience in helping the government with the banking crisis".

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