​​​​​Zoom Webinar: Ensuring a thriving SME lending sector to underpin economic growth across the UK post Covid & Brexit

New City Agenda are delighted to invite you to “Ensuring a thriving SME lending sector to underpin economic growth across the UK post Covid & Brexit” with Richard Davies (CEO, Allica Bank) and Kevin Hollinrake MP on Thursday 9th September at 9.00am on Zoom.

To register please click on this link and enter your details. You will receive a confirmation email with a link to join the webinar.


This event will discuss the challenges facing the SME lending sector and the responses needed to level up SME funding and build a policy and regulatory framework which supports competition and economic growth.

In early 2020, the Government established three business loans schemes in response to the pandemic:

  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme (CBILS)
  • the Coronavirus Larger Business Interruption Loans Scheme (CLBILS)
  • the Bounce Back Loans Scheme (BBLS)

The schemes were part of the Government’s package to support the economy through the pandemic. Their launch received wide political and business support.

The British Business Bank oversaw the schemes. A range of accredited lenders made decisions on applications made to them. By 21 March 2021, the three schemes had disbursed over £75 billion through loans and similar facilities. BBLS accounted for almost 94% of loans made and 62% of funds disbursed. 89% of businesses seeking finance did so because of COVID-19, and 75% of those did so to help with cashflow.

Many businesses have certainly survived with the help of the schemes. But many also face an uncertain future and the Federation of Small Businesses reports that the share of its membership with debt describing their borrowing as “unmanageable” has soared from 13% to 40%. The OBR has suggested that up to 40% of BBLS borrowers may default.

There are also concerns about the impact on competition as the five largest UK lenders were responsible for 89% of the value of the loans distributed. The National Audit Office has expressed concern that this could increase their foothold in the SME lending market.

This event will discuss:

  • The substantial challenges in SME lending over the next 2-3 years, and the risks this may pose to Office of Budget Responsibility forecasts of unprecedented economic growth and recovery over this period.
  • The importance of levelling up in SME funding and how this could be achieved.
  • The need for immediate policy responses which are fully in Treasury / Bank of England’s control post Brexit including the term funding scheme and the SME Support factor.
  • How to build a longer term policy and regulatory framework to support a competitive SME lending sector in the UK.

Richard Davies is a leader in SME banking and fintech, having spent the last two decades working with both UK banks and the fastest growing fintechs. He is the CEO of Allica Bank, a fast growing digital challenger bank focused on SME lending, and Non Executive Director at the international payments fintech WorldRemit. Previously he was the group COO at Revolut, as the company expanded from 5 million to 15 million customers and launched in a number of new markets. At OakNorth he developed the business model, technology, and regulatory licence application as the inaugural CEO. In large banks, he has been TSB’s Commercial Banking Director, and COO for HSBC’s UK Commercial Bank.

Kevin Hollinrake MP is MP for Thirsk and Malton​ and Co-Chair of the APPG on Fair Business Banking.

Do join us for what we expect to be an insightful event.

Please could you confirm your attendance by clicking on this link and filling in your details.​


​Please email dominic.lindley@newcityagenda.co.uk with any questions you want the speakers to consider in advance of the event.