Despite the billions of £s of taxpayers' money which has been poured into the banking sector, the banks are still not doing enough to keep businesses running, according to Plaid Cymru in Carmarthenshire. Cllr David Jenkins, Plaid's Finance spokesperson on the County Council has welcomed the moves being made by the council to try and support local businesses during the current recession, but has strongly criticised the banks for not doing enough.
"As taxpayers, we have put many billions of £s into the banks in order to restore their balance sheets," said Cllr Jenkins, "but it seems that they are still not providing the credit which is essential to keep local businesses in operation. There are many local businesses which are viable in the long term but which hit short term cash shortages, but the banks seem unwilling to provide the necessary assistance to them."
Carmarthenshire County Council's Executive Board has this week approved a report setting out details of the help that it can and will offer local businesses, including the provision of short-term loans and deferment of rent and rates payments in approved cases. Cllr Jenkins said that he welcomed these moves, and supported the efforts of the council to help. He did, however, sound a note of caution, saying, "There is a danger that the county council will find that it is taking on some of the riskier loans where banks have refused to act. I feel that they are right to do so, given the current circumstances, since it has to be better for the county's residents to keep businesses alive than to see them fail. But it really shouldn't be necessary for the county council to be taking on the work of the banks. Central government should do more to ensure that banks serve the needs of our economy."