Accountants reporting to the Treasury Select Committee’s investigation into lending to small and medium-sized companies have recommended that the Government improve support for smaller firms and publicise financial support schemes more widely. According to Peter Hollis of accountancy firm Hollis & Co, and Chris Lane, partner at Kingston Smith, banks frequently cancel loans or enforce higher rates of interest on small companies if they had reported a downturn in sales, or due to changes in asset valuations by risk-averse bank surveyors, for example relating to family homes provided as security. It was also reported that some Government initiatives are under publicised, such as the Better Business Finance appeal process, which assists smaller companies that have had an application for bank funding refused. The accountants have also called for the Government to launch a capital lending scheme for smaller companies at preferential long-term interest rates.
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