The British Bankers Association (BBA.org.uk) have recently announced a new initiative called their Business Finance Taskforce.
Released on 13th October it is designed to help business thrive and grow. The task force has amassed the support of a number of key banks all committing to 17 actions in 3 broad areas to help businesses thrive and grow.
The 3 areas are improving customer relationships, ensuring better access to finance and providing better information and promoting understanding.
Of particular interest to me was no. 2 of the 17 points entitled “Improved Service Levels to Micro Enterprises” (businesses with fewer than 10 employees and turnover or a balance sheet under €2m. They intend to do this by setting out a new Lending Code relating to the levels of service banks will provide and outlining additional sources of help and advice.
I am particularly interested to see what comes out from this. Many businesses that I am in contact with that can fairly be described as micro entities are having a very difficult time with their banks.
As with all these things, the devil is in the detail so we all can wait with bated breath to see what comes through.
Other interesting points in the 17 point task list include support for the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme and help to improve the supply of credit to the wider economy
The task force is made up of the CEOs and senior representatives from Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, RBS, Santander, Standard Chartered and the British Bankers Association. It is chaired by John Varley, the Chief Executive of Barclays.
The actual task force report, all 68 pages of it, requires careful study and I will be looking at this over the next few days and reporting again.