Government loan scheme changes “miss the crucial problem”

Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey will argue the Chancellor’s latest changes to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme still rely too much on traditional lenders, and will call on the Government and the British Business Bank to fast track cash to desperate businesses by opening the scheme to new lenders including the UK’s growing Fin Tech industry.

Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said: “Although the Chancellor’s loan scheme is well-intentioned, it was badly designed from the start and the latest changes don’t address the fundamental flaw in terms of the over-reliance on traditional lenders.  

Acting Leader Ed Davey

“Despite huge handouts in the 2008 financial crisis, the big banks have shown themselves institutionally incapable of serving the needs of Britain’s small and medium sized businesses, at the speed this crisis demands. The Chancellor needs to bring in other players with the skills and technology to meet this urgent challenge.

“While the Government must make clear to big banks that they are expected to offer far better terms, now is the time to turn to smaller specialised alternative lenders, including our world leading Fin Tech industry. These smaller competitors to the larger banks must be given a chance to show what they can do, with their more modern and agile digital platforms and their can-do attitude.

“That’s why I’ve urged the state-owened British Business Bank administering the lending scheme to bring in the smaller, specialised lenders to fill in the gaps, and help get these zero interest loans out fast to save thousands of businesses.

“Having given the traditional banks unprecedented support just a decade ago, the taxpayer will now demand far better from them – and expect the Government to turn to lenders who really want to help.”

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