Commenting on the opening of the Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS), John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:
“We hope that the Funding for Lending scheme will incentivise banks to lend and address some of the problems faced by businesses in accessing finance. We’re pleased to see a more imaginative approach to providing cheaper lending to businesses and it is a welcome step forward.“However, the real test for the scheme will be whether the funding reaches fast-growing or new enterprises, particularly those that have had difficulties accessing the finance needed to start-up, develop and expand. While the scheme will provide cheaper lending, it remains to be seen whether it will extend beyond those companies that would have qualified for loans in the first place.
“To help those new and growing businesses, so vital to achieving economic growth now and in the future, the government needs to consider more radical measures to solve the access to finance puzzle. The creation of a state-backed business bank would help companies that have been unable to get credit from banks, so they can start-up, invest, expand and create jobs.”