Friday, August 14, 2020

£280 million bank grants must be put to good use, say small firms

Banking Competition Remedies Ltd (BCR) has awarded £280 million of funding from the £775 million Royal Bank of Scotland remedies package – put up to satisfy the conditions of its government bailout during the financial crash – to Metro Bank (£120 million), Starling (£100 million) and ClearBank (£60 million).

Responding to today’s announcement, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chairman Mike Cherry, said: “It’s a relief to see this funding is now finally being handed out after a lengthy application process. For too long the small business banking market has been dogged by lack of competition and poor customer service. Properly used, the remedies package will go some way to addressing these challenges.

“These sizeable sums must be put to good use. Where grants are being handed to well-established players – particularly those under financial pressure – BCR needs to step-up its scrutiny. What we can’t have is a situation where this funding is swallowed up by day-to-day operations rather than fully dedicated to improving small business offerings.

“The commitment to spending a portion of today’s allocation on expanding the UK’s branch network is welcome. In-person support and cash deposit facilities are hugely valued by thousands of small business owners, especially those based in rural areas.”

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