ACCA: Business bank could “take decades” to get right

A BUSINESS BANK designed to provide help to SMEs under the umbrella of one organisation could “take decades” to get right, according to ACCA.

As things stand, applying for funding for activities such as employing young people, starting your own business, cheap loans and export support must be done through various different bodies.

The institute emphasised the need to establish a bank that will operate long-term, stressing that without consistency over time, small businesses will be unlikely to derive any benefit from the body.

Manos Schizas, senior economics analyst at ACCA, said: “Politicians can only make the landscape for small business finance work better by agreeing on a long-term industrial policy that will survive the politics of the coming years and outlive future parliamentary terms.”

Business secretary Vince Cable (pictured) outlined the plans for the bank in a speech yesterday, but many are still uncertain what the bank will entail.

Rob Donaldson, head of mergers, acquisitions and private equity at Baker Tilly, said the plans left many “scratching our heads at both the concept and lack of detail”.

He added: “The idea of the government creating an institution that will inevitably have to make decisions about winners and losers is a cause for concern. Cable also talks about developing a series of ‘collaborative but challenging sector strategies’, but I question whether anyone really understands what this means.”

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