Press Releases

HISTORIC PRESS RELEASE : Small business credit task force launched [April 2010]

The press release issued by 10 Downing Street on 1 April 2010.

A new task force to advise the Government on how to ensure small companies are treated fairly and properly when accessing bank finance was launched at Number 10 this morning.

Enterprise Champion Lord Sugar, outgoing Federation of Small Business chairman John Wright and former Lloyd’s TSB deputy chief executive Mike Fairey will comprise the task force.

They will build on the work Lord Sugar has been doing with small businesses, Business Link’s Financial Intermediary Service (FIS) and the banks and will help determine the role of the Small Business Credit Adjudicator (SBCA) announced in the Budget.

The SBCA will hear cases where a company may have been unfairly denied credit.

The PM told business leaders at a morning meeting that “we remain concerned that there are still companies who are unfairly denied credit and we feel that they are powerless to challenge the decision”.

But he said the new SBCA would consider individual cases and would have the legal powers to enforce his judgment, should he find in favour of a small business.

The PM said:

“I’m pleased that Lord Sugar has agreed to lead the task force alongside the outgoing chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, John Wright, who is with us this morning, and former Lloyds deputy chief executive Mike Fairey.

“And drawing on their decades and experience in enterprise, business and banking, they will advise the Government on the role and responsibilities of this adjudicator.”

The task force will meet banks and small businesses to discuss financing and credit issues.

It will consider potential powers and sanctions for the SBCA which could include the power to demand bank information and penalties.

A consultation document is to be published in the summer.