Small Business Credit Adjudicator and Financial Intermediary Service
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Access to Finance What is being announced? To help SMEs who need access to credit, the Government is creating a new statutory Small Business Credit Adjudicator. The Adjudicator will work closely with an enhanced Business Link Financial Intermediary Service (FIS) to ensure that small businesses are treated fairly when applying to their bank for finance. What are the roles of the Small Business Credit Adjudicator and the Financial Intermediary Service? The Financial Intermediary Service (FIS) accessed in each English region via Business Link offers free, impartial and independent advice at a regional level, to viable businesses struggling to secure access to finance. It acts as a bridge between the business and bank, encouraging further dialogue where the FIS judgement is that a bank’s initial decision might merit re-consideration. The Government has decided to enhance the FIS, increasing its profile and its capacity to respond to the demand for its services. Where a resolution between a business and a bank is not reached, but the view of the FIS adviser remains that the business appears to be viable and has a sound proposition, the FIS will be able to refer the case to the Small Business Credit Adjudicator to examine whether the lending decisions was fair. The Government will consult on the detail of the Adjudicator’s powers and will pass primary legislation to give them statutory effect. When will these services be available? FIS is already in place and offers advice to businesses of access to finance issues. The Adjudicator will be launched as soon as possible. Following consultation on the Adjudicator’s powers, the Government aims to pass primary legislation to ensure that there are legal powers to enforce its judgments. Who do I contact? Businesses can access the FIS through Business Link. The FIS will refer cases to the Small Business Credit Adjudicator as appropriate.