Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy Question 10/11/20

Today I raised with the BEIS Minister the case of a pub owner in Central Ayrshire who has seen his business severely impacted by Covid restrictions. He is unable to access a bounce back loan as the bank where he has his business account is not part of the financial support scheme and he has been advised that none of the other accredited lenders are accepting new business accounts.

As such, I asked the UK Secretary of State if the UK Government would widen the number of banks eligible for bounce back loans. Smaller businesses should be able to access the vital financial support they need to get through the Covid crisis.

You can watch my full contribution here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eh85vgPJ-JY

Dr Philippa Whitford MP

A pub owner in my constituency has seen his business severely impacted by covid-19 restrictions but has been unable to access a bounce back loan, as the bank where he has his business account is not part of the scheme and none of the accredited lenders are accepting new business accounts. Will the Secretary of State widen the number of banks eligible to provide these loans or ensure that the big lenders accept additional business customers, so that small businesses can access the support they need to get through this crisis?

Kwasi Kwarteng 

Obviously, I am not familiar with the exact details that the hon. Lady refers to. What I can point out is that in her constituency of Central Ayrshire, banks have provided something like £37 million of business loans, but I would be very interested to hear the specifics of that case and to see what we can do to meet those concerns.