How does the All Party Parliamentary Group on Fair Business Banking Work?
A Key Driver for Change
The APPG on Fair Business Banking is a key driver for change and a forum for consultation that incorporates all stakeholders who share the objective of creating a thriving and resilient relationship between businesses and lenders. To this objective, it is essential we listen to all voices and give equal weight to all representations made to us.
APPGs are cross-party and have the support of backbench MPs and peers from across both Houses. They are an incredibly effective and collaborative part of our parliamentary democracy.
We engage equally with all stakeholders who have an interest in the strength and resilience of SMEs and the financial sector more generally. This includes financial organisations and campaign groups alike and this sometimes means we have to engage positively with organisations that are at odds with each other.
We are in the position, however, to bring these voices together to work towards implementing constructive reforms to the commercial lending market. The quality and rigour of our work and output speaks for our independence and ability to bring all sides together. By engaging openly with all the stakeholders outlined below, the APPG can take the lead in restoring trust in business banking and give SMEs the confidence to take risks and thrive for the benefit of UK plc.
What is the APPG doing to achieve their objectives?
The APPG acts as a forum and focal point for the SME community and financial services industry and to deliver reforms in their long-term interest. As part of this, the APPG appeals to the full cross-section of banks from Tier One to challengers.
Bringing All Parties Together
The APPG brings together senior and influential figures and organisations in finance, commercial banking, policy and business in order to understand the key challenges in financing businesses for sustainable growth.
Some measures require action from the government and new legislation. We urge all parties to call on the government to take these necessary steps. We believe these reforms will be in the long-term interest of everyone – SMEs and financial services providers. Ultimately, it is in the interest of local communities and the UK economy.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. Who do you engage with?
The APPG engages equally with all stakeholders to achieve our core objectives. Crucially, we engage closely with the campaign groups that represent SMEs as the groups objectives are guided by the problems faced by SMEs.
We work closely with the Government and other Parliamentarians by organising meetings and debates to build support for our reforms. We also engage actively with the banking industry and the regulators so that we can use our position of influence to promote positive and constructive change for the benefit of consumers and the industry alike.
2. What are your current workstreams?
Fair Treatment for SMEs
This workstream is dedicated to collaborating with key stakeholders to ensure SMEs are treated fairly, be that through tackling vulture funds, insolvency or pushing for fairer dispute resolution. More information can be found here.
Resilience of the business banking sector
The global pandemic has deeply impacted our economy, and coupled with the climate change challenge, the sector is expecting significant change. The APPG on Fair Business Banking will be concentrating on the evolution of the business banking industry in response to these challenges to ensure that the survival and wellbeing of business is prioritised. We also work to ensure that the mistakes which left so many business owners in damaging and unfair situations are not repeated. We will be reviewing responses and encouraging a move towards a strong and diverse business banking market, including the role of fintechs, non-bank lenders, mutuals and CDFIs. More information can be found here.
Bankers for Net Zero initiative
Bankers for NetZero brings together banking leaders and other key stakeholders to investigate two questions:
- How can banks best support key sectors of the UK economy in transitioning to Net Zero?
- What’s needed from policy and regulation to enable banks to finance a rapid transition?
Through a programme of engagement with all key stakeholders (including banks, businesses, regulators, policymakers and institutional investors), the initiative will enable cross-sector collaboration that delivers practical results. It will lead to a set of ambitious but achievable policy recommendations and an ambitious banking sector commitment framework which sees banks pledge to set a clear date for net zero climate emissions, commit to divesting from fossil fuels and actively advocate for intervention to accelerate the transition to zero emissions. Read more here:
Volans and Re:Pattern are the APPG’s delivery partners of this initiative.
For more information about Bankers for NetZero, please click here.
3. Do donations or funding influence the work of the groups?
No – the group receives no taxpayer funding for its work, which means we must rely on external funding to meet the costs required to run a professional and effective group. Funds are required for research, administration, event management, running a website and more.
We run an Associate Membership scheme to fund the general work of the APPG. Associate members have no say over the running of the group and membership confers no special privileges. Members can sponsor events and may be invited for professional advice.
We also receive project specific funding for individual workstreams. This funding does not influence the work of the group and participants have no influence on the terms of reference of the project or the outcomes of any work, which are at the sole discretion of the APPG in line with our key objectives. Details of individual participants in each workstream are detailed on the relevant page.
4. If you take funding from banks you must be a lobby group?
All APPGs face the challenge of raising funding without the perception of conflict. It is important to receive funding in order to pay staff and produce research. The APPG is very clear with all contributors that the funding confers no special access, privileges or influence. The Directors of the secretariat and Director of Policy all come from business backgrounds and have individual experience with bank mis-selling. The Parliamentarian members have an interest in promoting an efficient and trustworthy financial sector for the benefit of all consumers.
5. How can I contribute to the work of the APPG?
If you think that the output of the Group can be improved, or if there is an aspect of business banking that is being overlooked by the Group then we welcome representations from all individuals and organisations. If you would like to discuss this further, please email Matt Sokhi.
The APPG is a non-profit organisation that receives no taxpayer funding. If you would like to support the work of the APPG financially then donations would be most welcome and can be done here.
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