SME lending inquiry opened

Politicians have opened an inquiry into bank lending to small and medium-sized business (SMEs).

The Treasury Select Committee (TSC) investigation will focus on access to finance for businesses, competition in the sector and the treatment of SMEs by banks.

The first session will take place on Tuesday 25 February 2014. Evidence will come from Priyan Patel, from the Federation of Small Businesses, and Matthew Fell from the Confederation of British Industry.

Andrew Tyrie MP, chairman of the TSC, commented on the Committee's inquiry:

"SMEs report that they are struggling to secure adequate access to finance, from banks and elsewhere. It is vital to a sustainable economic recovery in the UK that this market be restored to working order.

"Regulatory and other impediments to competition need to be removed, enabling SMEs better to take advantage of new sources of finance. More competition can also drive up standards.

"SMEs are viewed as sophisticated customers by regulators when, in reality, many are not. The Committee will look at whether the scope and remit of the regulators provide adequate protection."