A cross-party Committee of MPs will examine the key challenges SMEs face when seeking finance, the regulation of small business lending, and the role the Government can play in enhancing lending to small businesses.
In the wide-ranging new inquiry, the MPs will investigate the accessibility of finance, the role of financial innovation in business lending, and the role of the Bank of England’s Term Funding Scheme, credit reference agencies and Government state aid in encouraging small business lending.
The Committee will also explore whether SMEs have adequate access to a complaints procedure for disputes with banks or lenders, the effectiveness of the Business Banking Resolution Service, whether business lending should be regulated, the impact of Basel 3.1 reforms on access to finance, and the performance of the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) in handling complaints.
The MPs are also set to consider the role the Government can play in enhancing access to small business finance, the impact of covid schemes on businesses, and the role of the British Business Bank.
The Committee invites written evidence submissions on the inquiry terms of reference.
Commenting on the new inquiry, Harriett Baldwin MP, Chair of the Treasury Committee, said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of local communities, powering economic growth and fostering innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit.
“As a Committee, we’ll be examining whether small businesses are able to access the finance they need to grow and develop, whether there is adequate regulation of the sector, and if Government can take a more active role to support business growth.
“We look forward to receiving written evidence on this important topic and taking oral evidence later in the year.”