Clegg urges Britain’s banks to extend credit to ethnic minority entrepreneurs

Deputy PM describes economy as “next frontier of race equality”

Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has urged Britain’s banks to increase their supply of credit to entrepreneurs from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Clegg lamented the “grave inequalities” holding back many ethnic minority entrepreneurs, and described the removal of these iniquities as “the next frontier for race equality”.

The Liberal Democrat leader, speaking on the 30th anniversary of Lord Scarman’s report into the Brixton Riots, implored Britain to draw on “the Scarman spirit” to destroy “the barriers built into everyday British life.”

Clegg added that: “The real lesson from the last 30 years is: it is not enough for a society to reject bigotry. Real equality is not just the absence of prejudice. It is the existence of fairness and opportunity too.

“Britain’s banks, bailed out by the British people, have just as much responsibility as everyone else – arguably more responsibility – to help Britain build a strong and dynamic economy. Unleashing black and ethnic minority talent is their duty too.”

Recent figures show that entrepreneurs of black African origin are four times as likely to be denied loans as their white counterparts. Furthermore, entrepreneurs from countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh and the West Indies are regularly afflicted by higher interest rates.

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