The UK will extend its funding for lending scheme for one year to 2016. It had been due to expire in January but will reportedly be officially extended in a speech tomorrow.

George Osborne will also announce steps to make 1 billion pounds of new finance available to SMEs.

The Bank of England welcomed the development and said it will have no material impact on monetary policy.

With an election scheduled for May, expect a non-stop trickle of announcements from the UK government in the months ahead.