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Business lending slumps in April, mortgages rise

It has succeeded in lowering banks' finance costs and reducing the cost of mortgages since its launch in August, but its impact on business lending has been less visible to date, and last month the Bank tweaked its terms and conditions to increase incentives to lend to small firms. Friday's figures showed the need for this, with lending to smaller businesses shrinking by 660 million pounds after a 115 million pound fall the month before, again the biggest drop since December. Net mortgage lending, which lags approvals, rose by a strong 875 million pounds, well above expectations and its highest since December. Mortgage lender Nationwide said on Thursday that house prices were rising at their fastest annual rate in 18 months, in part due to a boost from the Funding for Lending Scheme launched by the Bank in August. Unsecured lending consumers rose by 524 million pounds, above expectations. Earlier on Friday, market research company GfK reported that consumer sentiment rose to a six-month high in May, though it still remains in the doldrums by historic standards. The Bank's preferred gauge of money supply, M4 excluding intermediate other financial corporations, rose at an annual growth rate of 4.8 percent. (Reporting by David Milliken and William Schomberg) Loading...
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://news.yahoo.com/business-lending-slumps-april-mortgages-rise-083639586.html?.tsrc=tmob

No More Monkey Business: Bieber Pet Has New Home

Germany Bieber Monkey.JPEG The 23-week-old animal was presented to photographers at the Serengeti Park in Hodenhagen, in northern Germany, on Friday. He faces another 25 days in quarantine before he can join his new family: the zoo's six capuchin monkeys, three male and three female ? including baby Molly, born in February. Mally was transferred to the zoo last weekend after living at a Munich animal shelter since he was seized by German customs March 28. Bieber failed to produce the required vaccination and import papers after arriving for a European tour. Mally's ownership was transferred to the German state May 21 after the singer missed a deadline to send the documents.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory/monkey-business-bieber-pet-home-19296486

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