Who is on small business side
Lloyds Banking Group is to cut around half of their relationship managers who deal directly with small businesses and their queries, in cuts of 1000 staff announced this month. This latest cut is part of 15,000 redundancies planned by boss António Horta-Osório, who has been with the bank for three years.
Around 560 of the 1000 staff cuts are Relationship Managers who work within commercial banking, in particular, with regards to small businesses. So who will be there to advise the growing number of small businesses after these cuts? This loss of half of a team came as a surprise to many, as it is part of an area that is being closely monitored by the government, with politicians concerned about lack of lending to small businesses.
At a time when David Cameron aims to “get out of the way of small business success”, through a red tape removal pledge, this removal of support by the Lloyds Banking Group is indeed contradictory. The government is clear on its mission to support small businesses and celebrate entrepreneurship, and in a recent Federation of Small Businesses conference, David Cameron pointed out some of the regulations currently hindering some small businesses; needing a poison licence in order to sell oven cleaner is just one (slightly curious) example. More than 3,000 of the hundreds of pages worth of rules will be dropped or changed, saving more than £850m a year, Cameron informed the FSB.
As well as scrapping many red tape rules, there are proposed measures to support small businesses in other ways too, under the ‘Red Tape Challenge’. These improvements include a £1.1 billion package of relief for business rates; £100 million of broadband vouchers to give businesses an online presence; and up to £2,000 each for small businesses for growth funding for 20,000 small businesses.
So there is hope and support for small businesses yet. The government recognises the importance of growth and looking to the future, with small business, innovation and entrepreneurship being the centre of that.