Call for evidence: Financing & capitalising SMEs - APPG Levelling Up Report

The APPG on Fair Business Banking is calling for written evidence to be submitted to inform its inquiry into financing and capitalising the UK’s SMEs. The inquiry is looking into how more diverse funding models can deliver more choice and better outcomes for SMEs in the UK.

The SME lending market in the UK is currently dominated by large, shareholder driven banks. However, a more diverse funding model has been proven to be more effective at weathering economic shocks – take Germany as an example of a country with a diverse offer of financing options for business lending that has proved resilient both post GFC and throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. This project will explore the benefits of more diversity both in what products are offered to business but also the structure of financial institutions, regional support, and how to achieve greater diversity and how this can deliver on the Government’s levelling up agenda.

All evidence received before 16th July will be reviewed to feed into our final report which will be published in Autumn 2021. Please send your contributions to

Evidence sessions

As part of this inquiry, the APPG on Fair Business Banking’s inquiry panel will hold evidence sessions with the following individuals and organisations. The sessions will be held online and will be public, with those who wish to watch able to join via Zoom.

APPG inquiry panel: 

  • Kevin Hollinrake MP, Conservative
  • Lord Holmes, Conservative
  • Peter Dowd MP, Labour
  • Lord Sharkey, Liberal Democrat
  • Sarah Olney MP, Liberal Democrat
  • Alison Thewliss MP, SNP
  • Tonia Antoniazzi MP, Labour
  • Ben Lake MP, Plaid Cymru

9.30am – 10.30am 22nd June – First sitting: What is the business lending market like for small business? (read our debrief here)

Evidence session 1: Small business

  • Diana Chrouch, Federation of Small Business BAME Policy Chair and Special Advisor to the APPG for BAME Business Owners
  • Martin McTague, Federation of Small Business Policy and Advocacy Chair
  • Dr Roger Barker, Director of Policy & Governance at the Institute of Directors

9.30am – 10.30am 29th June – Second sitting: Alternative finance in the business lending market (read our debrief here)

Evidence session 2: Alternative finance [9.30am – 10.10am]

  • Tony Greenham, Executive Director at South West Mutual
  • Theo Hadjimichael, Chief Executive Officer of Responsible Finance
  • John Davies, Chairman of the Association of Alternative Business Finance

Evidence session 3: Challenger banks [10.10am – 10.30am]

  • Steven Cooper, CEO of Aldermore
  • Nick Lee, Head of Government and Regulatory Affairs at OakNorth

9am – 10am 6th July: Third sitting: Exploring solutions to challenges in the business lending market

Evidence session 4: Financing

  • Patrick Magee, COO of the British Business Bank
  • Stephen Meurs, CEO of Big Society Capital
  • Mike Conroy, Director Commercial Finance at UK Finance

Evidence session 5: Regulatory

  • Simon Hall, Head of Division for Banking Policy at the Bank of England
  • Dr Andrea Coscelli CBE, CEO of the Competition and Markets Authority
  • Robin Finer, Head of Department for Competition at the Financial Conduct Authority

9.30am – 10.30am 13th July: Fourth sitting: Regional availability of SME finance (register here)

Evidence session 6: Regional availability of SME finance