Letter: Bank support : A selection of readers' letters from the overwhelming response to our 10-point plan for recovery

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The Independent Online
Sir: You are right to urge the banks to support small businesses through this recession. With 73 per cent of small firms reliant on the banks for finance, and most unable to fund growth from their own profits, it is hard to imagine how small firms can beat the recession without bank support.

Yet our research shows 39 per cent of small firms reporting a tougher attitude by their banks on borrowing in the past six months.

Two prerequisites for recovery are government action to remove known barriers to small business growth (such as late payment of debt and red tape) and better relations between banks and small firms. This could be achieved through a written bank/business contract, encouraging more of a two-way relationship, such as Lloyds has just adopted.

Yours faithfully,

D. J. HARROP

The Forum of Private Business

Knutsford, Cheshire

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