The Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, Mel Stride MP, has written to six major banks responding to the difficulties SMEs have in opening new business current accounts.

The big banks are Natwest, HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group, Metro Bank and Santander.

The questions include:

  • If their criteria for opening business accounts have changed since the start of the pandemic
  • If waiting times have increased
  • How customer complaints were handled

Commenting on the correspondence, Mr Stride said: “As the recovery from the pandemic begins, many SMEs will continue to need the vital support of financial institutions. It is essential that these institutions adapt to the requirements of SMEs as the economy begins to recover. The committee would like to know more about the state of the business current account market and whether steps need to be taken to alleviate the difficulties faced by SMEs.

Other MPs on the Treasury Select Committee include Tory Brexiteer MP Steve Baker and Labor members Rashanara Ali and Dame Angela Eagle.

The committee exists to question and monitor both the Treasury and the HMRC, as well as the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority.

The banks had a month to respond to Mr. Stride’s letter.

Responding to the news, Rich Wagner, CEO and Founder of Cashplus Bank, said: “For many years, viable small UK businesses have been left out and forced to jump through the hoops by dominant banks that are only really interested in anything else. ‘to serve larger, established businesses. Still, it’s shocking that many of the biggest players chose to slam the door completely at a time of desperate economic need and when company registrations were hitting monthly records.

“This crisis has shown that these are innovative digital challengers who are truly committed to breaking down barriers and finding responsible ways to deliver banking and, most importantly, lending services to Britain’s smallest and largest businesses. recent. The government must reconsider plans to level the playing field in this market and devote more effort and resources to ensuring that these initiatives endure so that small businesses can get the banking services they deserve when they are. are leading the economic recovery from Covid-19. “

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Most banks don’t allow small businesses to open bank accounts


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