Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom met senior representatives of Britain’s leading banks and other lenders to set out support for SMEs ahead of the 31st October and beyond to ensure they can make the most of the opportunities that Brexit will bring.
Joined by Michael Gove (Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster), John Glen (the Economic Secretary to the Treasury) and Kelly Tolhurst (Small Business Minister), Ms Leadsom reminded lenders of the existing guarantee schemes available to them through the government-owned British Business Bank and urged them to make the most of this support; enabling their SME customers to invest in capital, increase export capabilities and manage cashflow.
There is currently approximately £300 million of further headroom available to lenders this financial year through the British Business Bank’s Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG). The EFG facilitates lending to viable smaller businesses that lack sufficient security against which to borrow, potentially enabling a ‘no’ credit decision from a lender to become a ‘yes’.
Ms Leadsom and Mr Glen also announced that they would co-chair a new Business Finance Council, to be made up of senior representatives from the UK’s leading banks and alternative lenders.
Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom, commented, “Lenders must empower their SME customers to seize the huge variety of opportunities that lie ahead as we leave the EU on 31st October.
“Our new Business Finance Council will bring together key players, ensuring that finance continues to flow to our brilliant British businesses so they can do just that.
“Our financial system is strong and banks have the capacity to lend. I would urge lenders to take advantage of the support on offer from our fantastic British Business Bank.”
The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen, added, “SMEs are crucial to the economy and I want to make sure they are fully prepared as we get ready to leave the EU.
“It’s vital that businesses engage with their lenders ahead of Brexit and the new Business Finance Council will ensure government, banks and other lenders work together to help SMEs access the finance they need.
“As the City Minister, I will be working closely with lenders to make sure businesses can seize the opportunities of Brexit and continue creating jobs, growth and prosperity for the country.”
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