• Ensuring a thriving SME lending sector to underpin economic growth across the UK post Covid & Brexit
• Richard Davies (CEO, Allica Bank) & Kevin Hollinrake MP (Co-Chair, APPG on Fair Business Banking)
• 9am, Thursday 9th September 2021, Zoom
• Chaired by Lord Sharkey
This event will discuss the challenges facing the SME lending sector and the responses needed to level up SME funding and build a policy and regulatory framework which supports competition and economic growth.
In early 2020, the Government established three business loans schemes in response to the pandemic to be overseen by the British Business bank.
By 21 March 2021, the three schemes had disbursed over £75 billion through loans and similar facilities. BBLS accounted for almost 94% of loans made and 62% of funds disbursed. 89% of businesses seeking finance did so because of COVID-19, and 75% of those did so to help with cashflow.
Many businesses have certainly survived with the help of the schemes. But many also face an uncertain future and the FSB reports that the share of its membership with debt describing their borrowing as unmanageable has soared to 40%. The OBR has suggested that up to 40% of BBLS borrowers may default.
There are also concerns expressed by the NAO about the impact on competition as the five largest UK lenders were responsible for 89% of the value of the loans distributed.
This event will discuss:
• The substantial challenges in SME lending over the next 2-3 years, & the risks this may pose to OBR forecasts of unprecedented economic growth and recovery over this period
• The importance of levelling up in SME funding & how this could be achieved
• The need for immediate policy responses which are fully in Treasury / Bank of England’s control post Brexit including the term funding scheme & SME support factor
• How to build a longer term policy and regulatory framework to support a competitive SME lending sector in the UK