Telling the truth about SME life today

Triumph over the FSA

It’s very interesting to see that, a few days after my City Grump column highlighted that the FSA’s website definition of penny shares included all companies on AIM and PLUS Quoted, all reference to AIM and PLUS Quoted is suddenly removed by them!

Someone high up in the FSA’s North Colonnade Tower HQ must have realised that their political masters would be none too happy to read that the organisation was making life unnecessarily difficult for the small-company community, especially at a time when banks have turned unfriendly as well.

Talking of banks, it is equally distressing to see that the FSA seems to be sticking the knife into small-company lending as well. On Tuesday, it was reported in the Daily Telegraph that Steve Pateman, head of Santander UK corporate and commercial banking, told a meeting with MPs that, in order to comply with FSA rules, it can’t allow its branch managers to make lending decisions. Pateman said the FSA would find it “unsatisfactory” if he let the “guy down in Barnstaple make the (lending) decision”.

Ah well, one step forward and one step back. You have until September 20 to make your views clear to those working on the government’s green paper called Financing a Private Sector Recovery.

[The City Grump’s rage against the FSA was picked up in the Financial Times this week. Check it out here!]

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