Panel launched to monitor Banks small business lending
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Released 11 Nov 2008
Business Secretary Peter Mandelson today announced the creation of a new
panel to monitor how banks are lending to small businesses.
The five major high street banks reached an agreement with the government to
provide data on the availability, risk and overall cost of lending to small and
medium sized businesses at the first meeting of the Small Business Finance
Detailed talks will now be held with each of the banks to reach individual
agreements on the provision of data to the panel.
The monitoring panel will be made up of senior Department for Business and
Treasury officials and representatives from the Bank of England. It will monitor
and enter into a constructive dialogue with individual lenders on the
availability, risk and overall cost of SME lending.
The Forum also secured an agreement from the British Bankers' Association to
work with Small Business organisations to fundamentally revise the Statement of
Principles which set out how banks and businesses work together.
Business Secretary Peter Mandelson said:
"It is critical we understand what finance is available for small businesses
and this monitoring panel will give us greater insight into the situation at
"The panel, together with the revised Statement of Principles, shows a
commitment to making progress on resolving the credit issues faced by small
"I want this Forum to make a difference. We have opened up a dialogue between
SMEs and banks, and we will continue to work together to make sure we have the
resources in place to see UK plc through this difficult economic climate."
Banks, businesses and government also discussed the need to increase
awareness of the support and information available to help companies to manage
Consultations with business and finance organisations revealed a number of
companies feel they do not have access to the right advice they need on
The Government, in partnership with the Institute of Credit Management, has
produced a series of quick, user-friendly guides designed to provide this
support direct to businesses. Forum members will now promote the guides over the
next few months.
The Forum's Terms of Reference and membership were also agreed at the
1) The Small Business Finance Forum will meet regularly throughout the
lifespan of the current economic downturn.
2) The first meeting was held at 3.30 p.m. on Tuesday 11 November at the BERR
3) The guides are available online through http://www.creditmanage
4) The banks and business organisations are supporting and promoting the
guides: HSBC, Lloyds TSB, Barclays, CBI, FPB, FSB, IOD, EEF, BCC, BBA, HCC,
International Insurance Company, NSCC National Specialist Contractors Council,
ABFA, ACCA, CPA, CSA, CIPS
5) Small Business Finance Forum - Terms of Reference
1. The Small Business Finance Forum (SBFF) will be chaired by Business
Secretary, Peter Mandelson, and attended by Shriti Vadera, Minister for
Competitiveness and Small Business. It will comprise of 7 UK banks (RBS,
Barclays, HBOS, Abbey, Lloyds TSB, HSBC, Standard Chartered), the Bank of
England, the British Bankers' Association (BBA), key small business
representative bodies (CBI, BCC, IoD, FSB, FPB, SEC, EEF) and individual
entrepreneurs and small businesses. It will also include representation from the
Regional Development Agencies (RDAs), BERR's Access to Finance Expert Group, the
Women's Enterprise Taskforce, the Ethnic Minority Business Taskforce, the
Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, and HM Treasury.
2. The forum will bring together Government, banks and small businesses to:
* Have an informed debate on issues pertaining to financial conditions facing
banks and small businesses and an opportunity to openly raise concerns.
* Identify advice and information for Government, banks and small business
representative bodies to communicate internally within their organisations and
externally to their members, customers and small businesses.
* Identify areas of concern, interest and actions in relation to access to
finance, including barriers to SME access to finance.
3. The forum's discussion will be informed by BBA's emerging data on market
conditions for SMEs and any survey data from members of the forum.
4. Members attend in a voluntary capacity and receive no remuneration. The
lifespan of the Forum will be limited to the current economic downturn and kept
under review until the economy recovers.
Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform
7th Floor, 1 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0ET
Public enquiries +44 (0)20 7215 5000
Textphone +44 (0)20 7215 6740 (for those with hearing impairment)
About the Author
© Crown Copyright. Material taken from the BERR- Department
for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform replacing DTI - Department for
Trade and Industry. Reproduced under the terms and conditions of the Click-Use
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-11-12 13:50:54 in Business Articles