October 15, 2014 / 10:51 AM / 4 years ago

European Commission approves British Business Bank

The Union Flag flies next to the European Flag outside the European Commission building in central London May 25, 2014. REUTERS/Neil Hall

LONDON (Reuters) - The European Commission has approved Britain’s new business bank - designed to support lending to small and medium-sized firms - saying it does not break state aid rules.

The Commission said on Wednesday the bank would address small firms’ access to finance without distorting competition.

Britain set up the British Business Bank to support lending to small and medium-sized firms that have been hurt by the lack of bank funding in the wake of the financial crisis.

Its aim is not to compete with lenders, but to facilitate lending by drawing existing government schemes under a single umbrella and to use a 1 billion pound funding boost to stimulate traditional lending.

Reporting by Steve Slater; editing by Susan Thomas

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