Barclays will double its cap on unsecured lending to small businesses from £50,000 to £100,000 as it bids to drive lending volumes.

The high street lender believes that as many as 40,000 firms will be eligible for the larger loans.

It will also today announce it is raising the cap on unsecured overdrafts for firms to £50,000, from £25,000.

Firms will still have to meet the same underwriting standards, but should be able to access bigger loans more easily than previously.

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