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Chancellor George Osborne is expected to announce an extension to the Funding for Lending scheme in the coming weeks, according to reports.

Osborne, who will be feeling pressured after Fitch downgraded the UK’s credit rating last week, is likely to face calls from the IMF to ease his austerity programme.

The chancellor first announced a possible extension to the scheme in last month’s Budget but gave no further details. Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg too has reportedly expressed interest in extending the scheme, saying he wants the programme to be “put on steroids”.

Henry Brennan

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