Frustrated bosses who say their businesses are being held back by the reluctance of financial institutions to lend them money are being urged to Say No To Banks.
The audacious Say No To Banks campaign evokes the spirit of this year’s anti-capitalist movements, like Occupy the City – but is still very much about keeping the wheels of commerce turning.
Paul Verwoert, a director Hartsfield Group – the independent financial advisors behind the campaign – says: “We want the Say No To Banks campaign to make people smile. But behind the spoof anti-capitalist rhetoric there’s a serious message.
“Banks aren’t lending enough, and small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are bearing the brunt of the squeeze.
“But there is an alternative. Many companies have money tied up in directors assets. They can’t touch that money, but we’re licensed to do so, and can – in effect – help them to borrow their own capital, bypassing the need for bank loans altogether.”
There are many reasons why companies need to access finance in able to grow: from buying new equipment or transport to help them fulfil extra orders, or securing larger premises to help them expand – which is good news for the jobs market too.
Campaigning bodies like the Federation of Small Businesses have been critical of the banks’ failure to lend to smaller businesses, pointing out that the big five were on track to miss the terms of a lending agreement they signed with the government.
The deal saw banks promise to lend £76 billion to SMEs in 2011, but in first three months the banks had only lent £56 billion – a billion short of their target.
Even the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has been forced to admit that banks aren’t doing enough for SMEs.
Speaking recently to the House of Commons Treasury Committee recently he said: “There is a disconnect from what you hear from the banks and what you hear from the small business community.
“I’m sure of course there’s an issue with demand. Some businesses are just nervous. But I think there’s also a lack of supply. I think there is a lack of competition.”
Business owners who are interested in finding out more about Say No To Banks, and alternative ways of accessing financing, can log on to http://sayno2banks.wordpress.com, follow the campaign on Twitter at @say_no2banks or join the discussion on LinkedIn, by searching for Say No To Banks in groups.
To speak to a Hartsfield advisor call 0845 880 2469 or email firstname.lastname@example.org