The FPB (The Forum of Private Businesses) is petitioning the Government to ensure that the banks deliver on their bail-out obligations and remain open for business.
Following a seminar held at the London Guildhall to discuss the European Investment Bank's (EIB'S) £4 billion business fund, small businesses are calling for a return to 2007 lending levels.
The seminar was attended by the President of the EIB, Philippe Maystadt, the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, Peter Mandelson, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, in addition to representatives from UK banks and businesses.
The FPB, which is preparing to meet with Lord Mandelson and representatives from the banks on the new small business lending forum, has posted its petition on the Downing Street website.
Nick Palin, the FPB's Director of Finance said: "The European Investment Banking funding, which is being earmarked specifically for businesses, follows the £37 billion in tax payers' money that the Government has already ploughed into the banks.
There can be no excuse for the major lenders not to live up to their responsibilities to small businesses. We are backing Government's repeated calls for access to finance to be restored to 2007 levels, and will continue to push for this to happen as quickly as possible"
He added; "Already, more calls are being received by our member helpline concerning issues such as increased overdraft rates and reduced credit lines. Through its new economic downturn panel, the FPB will continue to scrutinise the banks' relationships with their small business customers. Through the petition, we are urging the government to do the same".
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