Commenting on the results of the SME Finance Monitor, John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“In tune with the deteriorating economic climate, demand for finance from businesses is falling. Nevertheless, it is quite clear that relationships between some small- and medium-sized businesses and banks are fractious. The fact that some firms are discouraged from seeking finance on the assumption that they will be refused highlights that a lack of trust continues to be a problem.

“Changes within the banking industry will not happen overnight, and it faces challenges around assessing risk in a difficult economic climate and having to meet new regulatory requirements. However initiatives such as an appeals process and new lending codes will help to restore the trust that is hard to earn but very easy to lose. It should also be made easier and quicker for businesses to switch between banks so that poor service provision can be punished in a competitive market.”


Notes to editors:


The BCC sits at the heart of a powerful nationwide network of Accredited Chambers of Commerce, serving over 100,000 businesses across the UK, which employ over five million people.

Media contacts:

Liz Larvin
Tel: 020 7654 5813 / 07825746812
Email: l.larvin@britishchambers.org.uk

Lisa Morrison
Tel: 020 7654 5812 / 07717682221
Email: l.morrison@britishchambers.org.uk