Steve Barclay MP is urging small and medium sized businesses in Cambridgeshire to take advantage of a new appeals process which hands them the power to challenge lending decisions by all of the five major banks.
The new rules mean that businesses who have been declined business loans from RBS, Lloyds, HSBC, Barclays, Santander and a host of smaller lenders are now entitled to appeal for their application to be reviewed by a member of staff independent of the original decision making process.
The appeals agreement, which is independently overseen by Professor Russell Griggs is freeing up financing options for small and medium sized enterprises with a turnover of up to £25million. Since the appeals process was first established, over 40% of decisions to refuse lending have been overturned.
Mr Barclay said: “The fact that 40% of appeals are being approved is clearly good news for local businesses. However, with access to finance tightened, I would like to encourage small and medium sized businesses to state their case for funding and appeal decisions from banks when they do not feel a refusal is justified.
“Small and medium sized enterprises are the backbone of the local economy in Cambridgeshire and I would absolutely support community business projects to seek a second opinion where they have been turned down.
“Freeing up flexible financing for entrepreneurs in places such as Wisbech and Chatteris is a vital part of the programme for regeneration in these areas; now small business owners should not feel intimidated by decisions made by the big banks.
“This process ensures fairness in funding decisions and should give a boost to those who have a bright business idea but who might have been afraid to apply for financing.”
Local businesses can initiate an appeal directly via the programme website at www.betterbusinessfinance.co.uk/help-support/appeal-process or find information and advice in their local branches of participating banks.