The UK coalition government is pumping one billion pounds into a new "business bank" in a bid to kick-start lending to small and medium sized British firms, it was revealed Monday.
The creation of the body, which should open up some 10 billion pounds of finance for cash-starved companies, was announced by Business Secretary Vince Cable.
Aides to the Liberal Democrat claimed he had secured a "big win" after the Treasury signed off on the proposals, amid concerns that major banks are hampering economic recovery by refusing to lend.
The money for the arms-length venture will be found from existing budgets and will not require extra government borrowing.
The latest push to restore growth emerged after deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg drew battle lines with the Conservatives over fresh spending curbs needed to meet deficit-reduction targets.
At the Lib Dem conference in Brighton, southern England, the Deputy Prime Minister took a thinly-veiled swipe at Chancellor, Finance secretary, George Osborne by dismissing "wild" Conservative calls for 10 billion pounds more to be slashed from welfare after 2015.
Instead he insisted most of the shortfall should be met through higher levies on the wealthy - such as the Lib Dems' favoured mansion tax or scrapping higher-rate relief on pension contributions.