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Media comment: We must do more to support SMEs and kickstart our economy

26 March 2020

Dear editor, 

We are greatly concerned about high-street banks’ interpretation of the Government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, which is designed to offer financial support to SMEs across the UK during the coronavirus outbreak.

Reports seem to indicate that high-street banks believe that they should protect their exposure first, rather than financially vulnerable small and medium businesses. Our members have reported these issues directly to us. If they continue to request to obtain their usual security on any loans based on their normal lending criteria under the current circumstances, many small businesses will fail as they cannot meet these requirements and owner directors are not willing to risk losing all of their personal assets. 

The UK economy has already taken a strong hit from the outbreak. If we are to mitigate further negative impacts and kickstart our economy, businesses must be in a position to rapidly ramp their activities back up. The Government’s plans, if operated effectively, should go a long way towards allowing that to happen. 

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Harding, FCMA, CGMA
Chief Executive — Management Accounting
The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, part of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants