Wednesday, June 26, 2013


The first report of the "Access to Finance for SMEs" review has now been published and the full version now is available now on the Welsh Government website.

In the review, I have provided a number of recommendations on how high street banks can better meet the funding needs of Welsh SMEs.

These recommendations include:

  • Ensuring Welsh businesses get a fair share of funding from the new Business Bank;
  • Welsh Government using its purchasing power in Wales to encourage its suppliers to pay their own supply chain promptly;
  • The banks allowing their Welsh regional managers to make final credit decisions for Welsh businesses;
  • Ensuring better links between business support programmes in Wales and the banking sector.
  • The banks establishing a covenant with their customers, moving away from decision-making based on simple credit scoring when a business provides a complete and robust application.

I will now be working on stage two of the review looking at other sources of financing available to SMEs. This will include looking at micro-lending, government sources, equity investment, availability of trade credit and alternative sources of funding such as peer-to-peer lending and crowd-funding.

I hope a number of the initial recommendations will enable the Welsh Government to work with and encourage the high street banks to break down some of these barriers. I look forward to working on the second stage and find some of the solutions needed to get capital flowing into Welsh businesses.

There will be more on this on Saturday in the Western Mail and next week on this blog but for those of you who can't wait, this is what Assembly members said yesterday on the report and its findings.