MP demands swifter action from banks on corona crisis loans

LOCAL MP David Mundell is calling on the Government to press banks to do more to help businesses through the coronavirus emergency.

The Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale representative is highlighting to Ministers difficulties his constituents face in accessing loans through the Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

It is part of a UK-wide package of measures to support smaller enterprises facing cash-flow problems during the current lockdown.

The scheme offers lenders a Government-backed guarantee for repayment for borrowing facilities under £250,000.

Mr Mundell said: “I've been approached by local business people who are highly critical of their banks for lack of support, even to long-established customers. 

"Instead of making the process simple and quick, local businesses tell me that they have found the banks to be bureaucratic with overly complicated processes and little empathy for customers’ immediate needs. 

"Businesses are also concerned about conditions, charges and interest rates the banks can apply at the end of the first year."

The former Scottish Secretary pointed out that the UK Government bailed out the banks when they were failing in the last financial crisis.

He added: "During this extremely difficult period, it's time the banks repaid taxpayers' generosity from the 2008 rescue by streamlining their response to customers."

Mr Mundell, who has raised individual constituents' concerns with their banks, is now lobbying Ministers on the issue and writing to Chancellor Rishi Sunak.