Tightening SME lending rules ‘deeply irresponsible’: Business groups warn

New data has highlighted the best cities for women to start a business in 2022.

Increasing capital requirements on SME lending will stifle economic growth and depress the UK’s small business sector, business groups have warned.

Under proposals being considered by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) as part of the Basel 3.1 regulations, favourable treatment for SME lending will be removed.

Removing the preferential treatment, known as the SME Supporting Factor, will force SME lenders to hold a higher level of capital against loans to the sector.

Responding to an MPs’ inquiry, the British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) said removing the SME Supporting Factor will make “credit both less accessible and more expensive for the vast majority of businesses”.