Tories welcome Commission ruling backing Britain's small-business bank idea

15-Oct-2014 @ 17:30

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Andrew Lewer Andrew Lewer

Andrew Lewer Andrew Lewer

Speaking today in response to an EU Commission announcement that UK plans for setting up the British Business Bank (BBB), to give small businesses in the UK access to finance programmes, do not breach EU state-aid rules, Anthea McIntyre MEP said: "I believe this is another sign that our key message is getting through about allowing SMEs freedom to pull us back to prosperity.

"Entrepreneurs and innovators are the ones with the real talent and drive to change the economic weather, but too often they are hampered by two things – too much red tape and too little access to investment cash. The EU has a role to play in fixing  both."

In today's ruling, the Commission specified that the BBB idea "addresses market failures that hamper SME access to finance in an appropriate and proportionate way".

As Conservative employment spokesman in the Parliament, Miss McIntyre has consistently pressed for moves to open up better access to loans for SMEs. She has repeatedly warned that as funding for business development has dried up in the downturn, SMEs have suffered the most and have effectively been stifled when they should be the foremost driver for growth and job-creation.

She produced a special report highlighting the opportunities provided by new forms of financing such as peer-to-peer lending schemes, micro lending and invoice products.

Today she said:  "The BBB fits this bill perfectly. The British record of creating genuine employment opportunities is showing the rest of Europe the way.  It looks like Europe is finally beginning to realise that and let us get on with the job in hand."

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