UK banks say ready to lend more after capital requirements cut

LONDON (Reuters) - Some of Britain’s biggest financial institutions said they were ready to lend more after a decision by the Bank of England to cut their capital requirements, according to a joint statement with finance minister George Osborne on Tuesday.

The Bank of England, which is trying to ease the hit to the economy from last month’s vote to leave the European Union, said it would lower the amount of capital banks are required to hold in reserve, potentially freeing up an extra 150 billion pounds ($196 billion) for lending.

“Now the UK’s main lenders, meeting with the Chancellor this morning, have agreed to make the extra capital available to support lending to UK businesses and households in this challenging time,” the lenders and Osborne said.

Osborne met with the chairmen or directors of Virgin Money VM.L, Santander UK SAN.MC, HSBC HSBA.L, Metro Bank MTRO.L, Royal Bank of Scotland RBS.L, Nationwide Building Society POB_p.L, Barclays BARC.L and Lloyds Banking Group LLOY.L.

Reporting by Andy Bruce, editing by David Milliken