Business Secretary Peter Mandelson, is being urged to do more to help small businesses
Hundreds of small firms will go bust by the end of the year if ministers fail to deliver quickly on their pledge to increase bank lending, business leaders have warned.
Despite repeated calls for action from Gordon Brown and Chancellor Alistair Darling, it emerged that companies were still suffering from banks doubling overdraft charges and increasing interest rates.
The squeeze on bank lending puts huge pressure on the Government amid public expectation of a return for its £37 billion bailout with taxpayer cash.
Abbey yesterday increased rates by half a percentage point and Mr Brown was facing further embarrassment today as the nationalised northern Rock was expected to axe its tracker mortgages.
As Business Secretary Lord Mandelson prepared for a grilling by the House Of Lords, it emerged he had been personally warned by business leaders yesterday that firms were facing bankruptcy before Christmas.