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Banks and businesses ‘must unite to stimulate economic growth’

A leading business group has called on banks and businesses to come together and rebuild the economy and stimulate economic growth.

Addressing the Better Business Finance event in Manchester, the Chief Executive of the Forum of Private Business (FPB) said the time for ‘bashing and blaming’ had passed.

Mr Orford urged company owners and representatives from the banking industry to move on from past mistakes and find ‘common ground’ to help boost the UK’s economic recovery.

‘Surely the time has come to acknowledge the issues and to find ways to move forward, constructively and collaboratively,’ he said.

‘Forget the bashing and the blaming. We are talking about enabling or disabling our recovery – it's now that serious. Businesses and the banks need to take a critical inward look and accept that the days of easy credit have gone.’

 

With many firms still struggling to gain access to affordable finance, Mr Orford highlighted the need for small businesses to implement a range of measures to improve their creditworthiness.

These measures included offering assets such as security, methodically preparing business plans and managing both business and personal credit ratings.

However, he told bank representatives that they had a ‘duty’ to reach out to small businesses and urged them to halt the closure of local banks and improve their product offering.

‘We need to see new products for business that are relevant for our time,’ he said. ‘Flexible products – maybe even bundled products – which allow borrowers to switch around for use at the appropriate time. Technological advances must enable faster process at reduced cost to business – particularly for the smallest – and I would cite faster payments as an example’.