In March 2014, the CBI called on George Osborne to support businesses’ access to finance, with director-general John Cridland stating that “we need to nurture the UK’s vibrant alternative finance market and encourage even more competition in banking so that businesses can get growth capital”.During the same period of time, shadow small business minister Toby Perkins explained that the problem is getting worse. In a Real Business article he wrote: “The root causes go much deeper than the banks’ need to recapitalise in the wake of the financial crisis. As long ago as the 1930s with the identification of the Macmillan Gap, policymakers have been concerned with the failure of the banking and finance industries to serve the needs of the ‘real’ economy in the UK.” But despite many SMEs claiming that access to finance is still an ongoing trend, 59 per cent of FDs and CFOs are happy with the sectors current state, highlighting that finance is less of a concern than it was a year ago. However, many have suggested that the majority of funding comes from government funding agencies, which “allocate funding and contracts for one year at a time, making long-term planning nearly impossible”. The real ordeal is the troubling skills gap. Read more about the skills gap:
- The FD verdit: Is a financial skills gap looming?
- Digital skills: Not just about tweeting, it’s about enhancing your business
- Northern companies feel the wrath of the skills gap
- Two-thirds of British FDs getting “brilliant staff and leadership” from their banks
- Majority of UK FDs in favour of EU membership and free labour movement
It’s not too late to have your say on topics ranging from regulation to the next general election results. By Shané Schutte Image source
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