To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to support small business owners, who have established their business during the covid-19 outbreak, to open business bank accounts.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has made an assessment of the adequacy of procedures for new small businesses attempting to open a business bank account including the requirement to submit documentation not readily available, such as formal business contracts.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been unprecedented demand for banking services, this accompanied with working restrictions due to social distancing has meant banks have faced significant capacity pressures which has limited their ability to meet demand for their services. Banks are doing all they can to meet this demand in these difficult circumstances, and the Government has always been clear that lenders should open to new customers where it is operationally possible for them to do so.
I sympathise with businesses opening their businesses during the pandemic, but decisions about which documentation is required from individual businesses remain commercial decisions for banks and building societies. It would be inappropriate for the Government to intervene in these decisions.