Building our SME Manifesto: call to action

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Fair Business Banking has begun the process of building an SME Manifesto. This document aims to address the significant challenges facing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the areas of finance and dispute resolution.

Key Focus Areas

The manifesto aims to target two main areas:

  1. Access to Finance: It will focus on the need for greater diversity in financial services to address the funding gap faced by SMEs, for support for alternative lenders, adjustments in capital requirements, and initiatives like the Green Finance for SMEs scheme.
  2. Dispute Resolution: It will address the need for improved mechanisms for SMEs to resolve disputes with financial institutions, proposing the establishment of a Financial Services Tribunal and extending regulatory protections to SMEs.

So far

Following a roundtable in Parliament, we have engaged with stakeholders across various sectors, including input from former Business Minister Paul Scully MP. The discussions centred on enhancing funding diversity, reforming bank referral schemes, and improving dispute resolution access for SMEs. These conversations have been instrumental in beginning to draft a manifesto that seeks regulatory reforms to support SME growth and resolve disputes effectively.

But, we need to go further and are now asking the SME community for their input.

Next steps and invitation for contributions

As the 2024 general election approaches, this manifesto presents an opportunity to influence the policy platforms of all major political parties, advocating for changes critical to SME

We invite the SME community to contribute evidence related to the manifesto’s key pillars. Anyone who feels they have information which might be relevant to our report is invited to email setting out a brief summary of the matter. Your input will be vital to ensure the manifesto accurately represents the needs and experiences of UK SMEs.