New taskforce set to open fresh finance streams for small firms

Cable pledges to "investigate and dismantle" barriers to innovation

The government has unveiled a new taskforce designed to examine fresh finance options for the UK’s small businesses.

The business finance taskforce, which will be led by Legal and General chief executive Tim Breedon, will explore options such as corporate bonds, crowd funding and peer-to-peer loans, in the hope of offering small firms viable alternatives to bank loans.

Business secretary Vince Cable, who launched the initiative, told reporters that many companies “are still unhappy with the way they have been treated by banks”, adding:

“There are exciting innovations emerging that provide alternatives to bank lending. Businesses are selling bonds directly to their customers, missing out the middle-men. And peer-to-peer lending has opened up opportunities for savers to invest directly in the fortunes of UK businesses.

“I want to investigate and dismantle any barriers to these and future innovations.”

CBI director-general John Cridland welcomed news of the taskforce, saying: “Government has grasped the nettle in supporting industry to develop new and viable financing solutions for small and medium sized companies.

“There is huge growth potential in the UK’s medium sized businesses, ready to be unlocked if we can provide them with long term capital to support their investment.”

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