COMMONS

Evidence session on small and medium sized enterprises lending

25 February 2014

Following its recent evidence sessions with Sir Andrew Large, Laurence Tomlinson and the Financial Conduct Authority, the Treasury Committee holds evidence session on SME lending, on Tuesday 25 February at 10.00am, in the Wilson Room, Portcullis House

Witnesses

Tuesday 25 February at 10.00am, Wilson Room, Portcullis House

  • Professor Russel Griggs OBE, Independent External Reviewer of the Banking Taskforce Appeals Process

From 11.00am (approx):

  • Priyen Patel, Senior Policy Advisor, Federation of Small Businesses
  • Matthew Fell, Director of Competitive Markets, Confederation of British Industry

Inquiry focus

The inquiry will focus on three issues; access to finance for SMEs, the scope for opening up the sector to more competition and the treatment of SMEs by banks. The first evidence session will take place on Tuesday 25 February (details listed below). Details of further sessions and formal terms of reference will be announced in due course.

Chair's comments

Commenting on the Committee’s inquiry, the Chairman of the Treasury Committee, Andrew Tyrie MP, said:

“SMEs report that they are struggling to secure adequate access to finance, from banks and elsewhere. It is vital to a sustainable economic recovery in the UK that this market be restored to working order.

“Regulatory and other impediments to competition need to be removed, enabling SMEs better to take advantage of new sources of finance. More competition can also drive up standards.

“Like individual customers, SMEs have been badly treated by their banks. The mis-selling of interest-rate swaps caused huge detriment. Although redress is currently being provided, many firms suffered significant losses.

“SMEs are viewed as sophisticated customers by regulators when, in reality, many are not. The Committee will look at whether the scope and remit of the regulators provide adequate protection.”

Terms of Reference

Formal terms of reference, outlining specific areas of interest to the Committee, will be published next week. The Committee would welcome written submissions on the issues mentioned in this release.

Further information

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