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Treasury select committee launches inquiry into SME lending

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It will examine access to finance for SMEs, the scope for opening up the sector to more competition and banks’ behaviour towards SMEs.

Andrew Tyrie MP, chairman of the committee, said that “like individual customers, SMEs have been badly treated by their banks.”

He said: SMEs report that they are struggling to secure adequate access to finance, from banks and elsewhere. It is vital to a sustainable economic recovery in the UK that this market be restored to working order.

Regulatory and other impediments to competition need to be removed, enabling SMEs better to take advantage of new sources of finance. More competition can also drive up standards.”

The announcement follows appearances before the committee by Lawrence Tomlinson, whose report claimed RBS had “engineered” small businesses into failing, and Sir Andrew Large.

The first evidence session will take place on 25 February.

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