To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if the Government will make an assessment of the potential merits of establishing (a) regional mutual banks and/or (b) regional angel finance programmes for the purposes contributing to its Levelling Up agenda and enhancing competition and lending practices within the banking sector.
The Government welcomes the efforts to establish regional mutual banks and recognises the importance of diversity in the banking system. Officials have been engaging with prospective mutual banks over their efforts to raise capital and look forward to further discussions.
The British Business Bank is already delivering the Regional Angels Programme, a £100m scheme which seeks to increase the aggregate amount of early-stage equity capital that is available to smaller businesses with high growth potential across the UK. This programme is off to a promising start and has seen very strong demand. The British Business Bank will assess the effectiveness of the programme in meeting its stated objectives in due course.