Fair Business Banking SME Manifesto calls for reform

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Fair Business Banking has launched its SME Manifesto. The manifesto sets out the strategy for the next government to transform the regulatory landscape for SMEs so that they get the proper support they need. It wants to see:

  • a target for increasing the supply of finance to social purpose lenders;
  • a commitment that Basel 3.1 implementation will not reduce SME lending;
  • extending the regulatory perimeter so that lending to SME comes within FSMA, and giving SMEs the right to pursue action against banks for damages under FSMA;
  • a new Financial Services Tribunal to replace the BBRS together with an extension of FOS;
  • a new common approach to signposting where SMEs can get advice on their financing options;
  • longer term BBB support schemes;
  • prioritised funding to support small businesses in adopting products and technology to reduce emissions, including a BBB-backed asset finance product;
  • better guidance to SMEs on greenhouse gases reporting;
  • a clear set of principles for compensation schemes;
  • an increased FSCS limit – given that the limit has not changed since 2010 while SME deposits have more than doubled; and
  • an overhaul of the Bank Referral Scheme to bring more banks in scope, and to improve the customer journey for users.

Emma Radmore