Clearview Midlands July 2013 - Issue 140 - Page 65

BUSINESSNEWS FUNDING FOR LENDING DATA The Confederation of British Industry has responded to Funding for Lending data for the first quarter, which shows that net lending fell by £0.3 billion. This represented an improvement on the fall of £2.4 billion in the previous quarter. Matthew Fell, CBI Director for Competitive Markets, said: “Funding for Lending is reducing the cost of finance for businesses and households, despite disappointing lending figures overall. There are substantial headwinds hampering lending, including a lack of confidence amongst businesses and deleveraging by banks. “The banks are clear that their ability to lend has been improved by the scheme, and more small businesses are seeking fin ance as a result. “Funding for Lending is only one part of ensuring growing firms have the finance they need and businesses should also consider other available options, like equity finance or retail bonds.” The CBI recently published a guide to alternative finance for growing businesses that can be found at EXTENSION OF RED TAPE FREEZE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES The Confederation of British Industry responded to an announcement by Business Minister, Michael Fallon, that the Government will extend the small business exemption from new regulations for firms with fewer than 10 employees to firms with up to 50 employees. Hayley Conboy, CBI Principal Policy Adviser for Enterprise, said: “Regulation disproportionately affects smaller businesses, which lack specialist resources to manage it, so this extension to the moratorium will help free up more of these firms to focus on growth. “However, it does not apply to many new rules impacting on companies so must not distract from the need for the Government to always ‘think small first’ when designing regulations. This will ensure that all firms can comply without disproportionate cost.” Follow the CBI (@CBItweets) on Twitter MINISTER WELCOMES NEW CONSUMER CODES APPROVAL SCHEME UK-wide codes of practice, which protect consumers from poor trading practices and encourage businesses to showcase exemplary customer service, have been welcomed by Consumer Minister Jo Swinson. Speaking at the annual Trading Standards Institute conference, Jo Swinson praised the TSI for working with business and consumers to create a new Consumer Codes Approval Scheme. Under the voluntary and self-funded scheme, trade bodies can apply for their industry specific code to be approved by the Trading Standards Institute, which will strengthen industry selfregulation. The Minister said: “Treating consumers with good customer service and a willingness to go the extra mile are the hallmarks of a good business. The TSI approved logo will become a badge of distinction helping businesses enhance their reputation and attracting consumers to honest businesses who are raising their game and helping rebuild our economy. That is why I am delighted to endorse the new UK-wide consumer codes of conduct. “The new codes add to the host of reforms we have been introducing over the past year to empower consumers and coordinate enforcement against rogue traders, all without imposing unnecessary burdens on businesses.” The code applies to businesses ranging from energy to healthcare sectors. Businesses that subscribe to an approved trade body’s code will be required to provide consumer protection, including offering an ombudsman or arbitration to resolve disputes. Those that fail to comply once signed up could face fines or imprisonment. The Minister encouraged all sectors of industry to join more than 15,000 current subscribers and use the commercial opportunities available from advertising their good customer practice through the TSI Approved Code Logo. Jo Swinson also praised the work of the National Trading Standards Board, which successfully helped uncover fraud worth more than £139m in its first year of operation. Consumers will be able to look for the TSI Approved Code logo, or search a dedicated database at www.tradingstandards. for a member of an approved code in their area. To read more, visit JUL 2013 65