Business secretary criticises pace of financial support for car makers
12 March 2009

Business secretary Lord Mandelson has expressed his frustration with the Treasury and Bank of England for acting so slowly over support for the UK car industry.

In an interview with the BBC, Mandelson said, “I wish our discussions with the Treasury and the Bank of England - and it is the Bank of England that is in pole position on this - had gone quicker than they have. I readily acknowledge that.”

"The discussions are nonetheless making progress," he added, "and I hope that it will be possible to help those car financing arms because that goes hand in hand with our other efforts to boost this market and give a shot in the arm for the demand for cars."

The government has twice announced a financial package to support the country’s car manufacturers, but several industry sources have confirmed that none of this money has yet arrived.

It was only this week that the government held a seminar for the industry, detailing the criteria for government-guaranteed loans from the European Investment Bank.

When asked if the Bank was holding things up, Mandelson said, "I wouldn't put it in that way. No. Because they are our colleagues and they're doing their best to find the right area. But I can assure you this is a very complex area."

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