Our existing financial institutions, including the high street banks that historically financed most business expansion, have a sharply lower risk appetite today than they did in the past. Banks’ loan books are significantly smaller than they were, and have continued to contract in recent months.

And despite protestations to the contrary, that risk appetite will continue to decline over the coming years as new domestic and international regulatory regimes, shareholder demands, and ever-higher capital requirements further constrain their capacity to lend

The BCC’s message to David Cameron, George Osborne, Nick Clegg and Vince Cable is clear: a strong business bank could be your legacy to Britain. It would be the corner-stone of a truly business-friendly environment, helping to nurture Britain’s growth companies more sustainably and over the longterm. And that’s a legacy worth fighting for.