The government’s flagship small business support initiative, the Enterprise
Finance Guarantee scheme, has lent nearly £190m in the four months since it was
introduced, although the waiting time for loan approvals is still too long, a
trade body has claimed.
The EFG scheme, which was announced in January, was intended to free up
£1.3bn worth of lending to SMEs with turnovers up to £25m looking for finance of
up to £1m. Under the EFG, the government guarantees 75% of the loan, with banks
risking the remaining 25%.
The scheme faced early criticism from small business groups, who claimed that
banks were reluctant to use the scheme and there was confusion over the
application process. As a result, critics claimed that many small and
medium-sized enterprises were struggling to access funds.
Earlier this week, a spokeswoman for the
Department for Business
Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, told Accountancy Age that 2,059
businesses had been offered loans totalling £186m.
She said that 26 lenders had signed up for the EFG scheme and 21 had made
Kevin Dickens, chairman of the
UK 200, a trade body
that represents 120 firms across the UK with a total of 150,000 SME clients,
said there was ‘anecdotal evidence’ of improved access to bank loans.
But he added that the time taken for decisions on loan application was too
long, citing his own business’s experience of waiting three months before a loan
application for the EFG scheme was approved.
‘Three months can be a lifetime for a small business,’ he said.
He added that the waiting time for decisions on EFG loan applications should
be no longer than one month.
Does Darwin's theory apply to taxation? Colin ponders...
The EC has been instructed to draft a European Union (EU) directive authorising an EU financial transaction tax, which would apply to ten of the EU’s 28 member states
The Financial Reporting Council has issued guidance regarding the annual reporting of 1,200 large and smaller listed companies. The letter highlighted the key issues and improvements that can be made in the 2016 reporting season
Baldwins Accountancy Group has continued investment in the north-east and appointed David Fish as a director in its corporate finance team