§ Mr. Shepherd
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware that banks are not being helpful to small builders; 201W and if he will take steps to ensure that, in the application of credit policy, due weight is given to their needs.
§ Mr. R. A. Butler
As stated in the answer given to the hon. Member for Ealing, South (Mr. Maude) on 7th December, 1951, I have asked the banks to ensure that the credit policy of the banking system shall operate in conformity with the general principles laid down for the guidance of the Capital Issues Committee. I understand that the banks do not consider themselves prohibited by the terms of my request from granting short-term advances to builders for the purpose of building houses for sale on completion, or as agents of local authorities. It is, of course, for the banks to assess the credit worthiness of individual borrowers.
The provision of long-term finance for house purchase is a different question and forms of finance other than bank advance are usually more appropriate to these purposes. An intending house purchaser in need for a mortgage loan is able, for instance, to apply to a building society or insurance company or to a local authority for an advance under the Small Dwellings Acquisition Acts or the Housing Act, 1949.