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LCCI continue to call for city of London support for lending to SMEs

With the Government support package for both employed and self-employed having been announced, but remaining weeks away from access for many, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry has issued another rallying cry for the financial institutions of the city of London to act in the national interest by actively demonstrating support to SMEs.

Following up on a letter from the Director General and President of the British Chambers of Commerce (BBC) to UK Finance and major banks about the need for swift implementation of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, LCCI’s CEO Richard Burge has again written to Catherine McGuinness, Chair of Policy and Resources Committee of the City of London Corporation.

In his letter, Richard tells that “the business impacts of Coronavirus are here now. For tens of thousands of firms across our capital and our country time is short for support to financial pressures they are facing every hour, each day. We are receiving evidence that the responsiveness of the financial sector is patchy, and often risk averse at the moment when their business clients need their support.”

He urges the City of London Corporation to endorse the BCC letter and to use the Corporation’s influence to “reach out to the twelve leaders who are recipients of the BCC letter and request that they give the issues raised their immediate attention.”

His letter reads:

26 March 2020

Ms Catherine McGuinness, Chair of Policy and Resources Committee, City of London Corporation.

CORONAVIRUS CRISIS: WORKING TOGETHER TO HELP BUSINESSES AT THE FRONT LINE

Dear Catherine,

Further to our discussion last week, and my letter to you on 19 March 2020, I wanted to pass on the attached letter from the President and Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) to twelve leaders in the UK Banking and Finance sector.

Baroness Ruby MacGregor-Smith and Dr Adam Marshall ask that the leading financial institutions in the UK step-up to the challenge our country now faces and actively demonstrate support to SMEs.

They suggest six clear steps that could be taken to ensure that SMEs can access and utilize the Government’s planned Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

In the interaction between us last week, I urged the City of London to demonstrate that it will do everything necessary to support the economic resilience of the whole of the UK.

As Chief Executive of London Chamber of Commerce and Industry I would be grateful if you would:

1) That you endorse the BCC letter as Chair of the Policy and Resources Committee at the City Corporation.

2) That you reach out to the twelve leaders who are recipients of the BCC letter and request that they give the issues raised their immediate attention.

The business impacts of Coronavirus are here now. For tens of thousands of firms across our capital and our country time is short for support to financial pressures they are facing every hour, each day. We are receiving evidence that the responsiveness of the financial sector is patchy, and often risk averse at the moment when their business clients need their support.

London Chamber and the BCC are ready to work alongside the Government and the Banking and Finance sector to forge pragmatic solutions. As I have said previously, your role and that of the City as the leader of our national financial services community is vital and needs to be seen by the companies who now rely on those financial institutions to share the burden.

With my best wishes

Richard Burge, Chief Executive

cc. President, British Chambers of Commerce Director General, British Chambers of Commerce

ENDS.

For further comment or interview:

Steven Reilly-Hii
Senior Media Relations Manager
E: press@londonchamber.co.uk