MPs launch SME lending inquiry
Parliament’s Treasury Committee has announced plans to launch an inquiry into SME lending. This will involve examining the key challenges SMEs face when seeking finance, the regulation of small business lending, and how government can enhance lending to small businesses.
The committee will also investigate the accessibility of finance, the role of financial innovation in business lending, and the role of the Bank of England’s Term Funding Scheme, credit reference agencies, and Government state aid in encouraging small business lending.
It will also explore whether SMEs have adequate access to a complaints procedure for disputes with banks or lenders, the effectiveness of the Business Banking Resolution Service, whether business lending should be regulated, the impact of the Basel 3.1 reforms on access to finance, and the performance of the Financial Ombudsman Service in handling complaints.
The MPs will also consider the impact of Covid-19 schemes on businesses, and the role of the British Business Bank.
Committee chair Harriett Baldwin MP commented ‘Small businesses are the lifeblood of local communities, powering economic growth and fostering innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit. We’ll be examining whether small businesses are able to access the finance they need to grow and develop, whether there is adequate regulation of the sector, and whether government can take a more active role to support business growth. We look forward to receiving written evidence on this important topic and taking oral evidence later in the year.’