By Francesca James

Commenting on today’s figures from the Bank of England on the Funding for Lending Scheme, John Walker, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said:

“The scheme was designed to help businesses as well as homeowners but evidence points to this helping the mortgage market more, perhaps due to the larger number of providers in this market. What is needed is more competition and choice for small businesses to access finance. Our data tells us that around four in 10 small firms were refused loans in the third quarter and independent data shows that businesses looking for finance for the first time are more likely to be refused. The key reason why, is the scheme does not help firms access credit, it only makes credit cheaper to those successful in their loan applications. In the Autumn Statement the Chancellor has the opportunity to address those issues by setting out his plans for the business bank: how it would work to promote competition and how it will help the smallest of businesses and start ups access cash vital to their growth.”