UK Business Minister Trumpets Government Push for Business

Matthew-HancockIn a speech delivered at the inaugural Medium Size Business conference held in London, Tory MP and George Osborne ally Matthew Hancock delivered a statement championing the government push to grow UK business.  The missive specifically targets mid-size enterprises and highlights specific programs including policy that encourages peer to peer lending and alternative forms of finance.

While Hancock commented on challenges facing traditional banks he notes P2P is garnering government support and recognized the benefit of crowdfunding;

“…And we will continue to work hard to ensure that you get the finance you need when you need it – unlocking investment, diversifying finance and raising aware of alternatives to bank lending. It is common place now to say the UK is good at start up finance and great at liquid finance at the largest end. But historically we have been weak in the middle. I have no doubt there is more to do. But be in no doubt the building blocks are being put in place to solve this:

  • first and foremost returning the big banks to strength and refocusing them on the bread and butter of supporting growth business as Lloyds and others are now doing – the business growth fund is starting to work at scale
  • second the British Business Bank – this government finance is supporting the capital of alternative venture capitals, peer to peer and crowd finance, and the growing challenger banks
  • third the AIM market and retail bond markets are growing and open”

Other highlights include the fact that, “We [the UK] have already cut the main rate of corporation tax by 7% age points since 2010. Next year we will cut it again to 20%, making it the joint lowest in the G20”.

Knock Out PunchExcessive bureaucracy and over-zelous enforcement takes a punch as well.  Hancock states that, “The Red Tape Challenge invited you to identify those regulations which are a burden on your business. Thanks to you, we are reforming or removing over 3000 regulations. We’re tackling overzealous enforcement. This is saving businesses like yours over a billion pounds a year.”

Hancock closes his speech saying;

“We are working to strengthen private placements and alternatives to traditional bank finance. None alone will solve this gap but together, in time, we will tackle this historic weakness and support our MSBs. All these things together have one goal. We want Britain to be the best place in the world to start and grow a business.”

While actions always speak louder than words, one can only look in wonder at the stark contrast exemplified by the current US approach in tackling debilitating regulatory regimes and an apparent unwillingness to liberalize capital formation for small businesses within this country.

The speech is embedded below.

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