FLA comment on launch of the Comprehensive Spending Review

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review, which sets out longer-term growth plans for the UK – including commitments to develop technologies to support net zero carbon emissions by 2050, to level up national and regional economies, and to increase productivity – Stephen Haddrill, Director General of the FLA, said: “Confirmation of the longer-term growth plans are very welcome, and mirror those included in our recovery plan for the economy – Shaping the UK’s future prosperity: recognising the opportunities for recovery.

“What we need now is a commitment from Government to ensure that lenders are able to lend during the recovery. It is vital to rebuild consumer and business confidence at this point – and that confidence begins with the availability of funding.

“Unprecedented levels of forbearance are being provided by lenders in our markets, with the Financial Conduct Authority requiring that this is done without regard to firms’ commercial interests. Many of these firms are non-bank lenders with no access to Government funding schemes, so since the beginning of the crisis they have been supporting customers out of their own reserves.

“To ensure that they can lend again during the recovery, the Government must provide a Forbearance Liquidity Support Scheme, and reform the British Business Investment (BBI) Direct Lending Scheme so that it works for the wide range of specialist funders of SMEs and consumers which do not have access to Bank of England support.”