the Business Forum and
the Economic Partnership
in Brighton & Hove
Homepage    BCRP Intranet    Funding    Events    Knowledgebase    Links    About us     Contact us
Key projects



Workforce development 


Business &

Property &
Development sites




Consultation opportunities

Brighton & Hove Business Forum
8-11 Pavilion Buildings, Brighton, BN1 1EE
Tel: 01273 735442
Email: info@brighton

© Brighton & Hove
Business Forum

News - 5 December 2009

FBP wants a better service from banks

The Forum of Private Business (FPB) is calling for bank lending to be made more accessible and affordable following a report identifying a ‘permanent gap’ in small business finance.

In its submission to the Rowland’s Growth Capital Review, which highlighted a major shortfall in growth capital for businesses seeking between £2m - £10m, the FPB called for a range of finance options to be made available for more small firms, including those requiring significantly less capital. The FPB claims small businesses need better bank lending as well as a new growth capital fund.

Following the review, which was led by venture capital expert Christopher Rowlands and included ‘Dragons’ Den’ entrepreneur James Caan, the Government announced plans to introduce a new growth capital fund to plug the gap. In addition, it revealed there will be a £1 billion innovation fund for technology start-ups.

However, the FPB believes that the banks must also play their part by increasing the availability of lending – particularly investment of between £100,000 and £500,000, which is the level typically required by most small businesses. The FPB is also arguing that the steep cost of bank finance must be reduced without delay.

On 3rd December 2009 the FPB presented its recent small business finance research at a meeting of the Small Business Finance Forum amid concerns that a lack of affordable credit will leave many businesses unable to expand and cope with an upturn in trade as the country heads out of recession.

“We are entering a key period,” said the FPB’s Policy Representative Matt Goodman, who attended the meeting. “Firms are likely to require finance from a greater range of sources over the next year. Growth funding is certainly welcome but must be accompanied by more sustainable banking lending and public sector support – including a replacement for the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) - so that they are able to take full advantage of future opportunities.”

In all, 47% of members responding to the FPB’s quarterly Referendum survey, entitled ‘Preparing for Growth’ said they expect to see an increase in trade in the next 12 months, with 13% already experiencing an upturn in orders, 45% intending to expand their businesses and 37% expecting to recruit additional staff by September 2010.

However, 77% said that the terms and conditions of lending – including demands for personal guarantees – have deteriorated during the past year.

Just 4% of FPB members said they have seen access to working capital improve in 2009, with 58% saying it has worsened. In addition, 65% said it has become harder to access finance for growth and 68% reported that the cost of finance has increased.

“There are still small businesses unable to access the finance they need but affordability is now the key issue,” added Mr Goodman. “The growth capital and hi-tech start-up funds announced by the Government will be significant steps forward, but the steep cost of traditional bank lending remains a huge barrier for many viable yet struggling firms.”

When asked how the issue of finance could be improved, 36% of small business owners surveyed by the FPB said they wanted to see a reduction in the cost of lending. Further, 27% said greater flexibility in negotiating and adapting terms and conditions to meet the changing needs of their business would be welcome.

Additionally, 26% called for more simplicity in lending arrangements, without multiple party deals, and 22% wanted to see a reduction in the time they spent complying with the requirements of the funding. Greater competition and choice in the marketplace was also listed as desirable by 20% of respondents.

Read related items on:
Legal and financial services
Forum of Private Business
Caan, James
Goodman, Matt
Rowlands, Christopher

Browse our business Knowledgebase or search by keyword


14 March 2018
Better Business for All Event with BEIS
7 March 2018
Brighton celebrates women in tech as Spring Forward festival returns for a fourth year 6 March 2018
Six months of success for BTN BikeShare 2 March 2018
Sustainability in Action masterclasses for Sussex businesses 2 March 2018
Doing Business in China comes to Brighton 1 March 2018
Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce presents: Protecting your brand- a guide for fast growth businesses 1 March 2018
Long haul passengers boost local economy and jobs, according to new Gatwick report on the 'Visitor Economy' 28 February 2018
Save time reporting crime 27 February 2018
Warren Morgan Resigns from Brighton & Hove City Council 23 February 2018
Brighton Technology Company, Paxton Ranks in Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For 23 February 2018
Greater Brighton's Commercial Property Database 22 February 2018
SE-ASSIST - Launch of Loan Capital in Greater Brighton 19 February 2018
House Price update Q4 2017 19 February 2018
What would you do in a crisis? 19 February 2018
The investment journey for high growth entrepreneurs 9 February 2018
Make Change Count 2018 - helping rough sleepers in Brighton & Hove 8 February 2018
Brighton Technology Company Paxton Announces Recipients of New Scholarship Programmein Association with the University of Brighton 8 February 2018
Cyber London Accelerator Invites Summer 2018 Entries 8 February 2018
Innovate UK Launches Strand 2 Emerging and Enabling Technologies Sector Competition 8 February 2018
Success In Sussex As Food And Drink Heroes Crowned Winners 8 February 2018
UK Games Fund - Fourth Round Open to Applications 8 February 2018
Innovate UK & Prince's Trust Launch Young Innovators' Programme 6 February 2018
Brighton & Hove Food Partnership launches 'Kit Out The Kitchen' crowdfunding campaign 2 February 2018
Brighton & Hove Council and Crest Nicholson win £15m government funding to kickstart King Alfred project 1 February 2018
Could a Utilise Plus Programme grant help you? 1 February 2018
Shoreham Port Facilitates Huge Operation 18 January 2018
IUK Announces Collaborative R&D Funding for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles Simulation 18 January 2018
Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Launches $1 Billion Corporate Venture Capital Fund for Next Generation Mobility 17 January 2018
PORTlife #17 Newsletter Out Now 17 January 2018
Over £19,000 raised for Burning the Clocks 2017 11 January 2018
Brighton Main Line Improvement Project: Planned closures in October 2018 and February 2019 11 January 2018
Come on in! Fairtrade Fortnight 2018 8 January 2018
Sussex Business SkillSnap targets hospitality industry skill shortage 3 January 2018
House Price update 2017 Q3 20 December 2017
£14.35 Million European Regional Development Fund Launched 19 December 2017
Leading the way - Sustainability in Action masterclass 15 December 2017
Brighton is among the best places to start a business due to their strong growth factors 15 December 2017
GTR consultation ends 20th Dec 2017 13 December 2017
Ethical Food StartUp Programme - Idea Generation Workshop 12 December 2017
Utilise Plus launch programme of energy efficiency grants and business support for SMEs