Britain’s Banks are convinced the key to repairing their relationships with customers is transparent data on their activities. This is a welcome but unusual approach especially in the banking sector which globally has profited from opaque management and limiting access.
The British Bankers’ Association (BBA) hopes the data will convince people that its members genuinely are lending to SMEs, despite the widespread skepticism prompted by the disappointing figures from schemes such as Funding for Lending. The biggest issue of all with this data, however, may be the figures, in aggregate, appear to show small businesses don’t currently want to borrow. In 70 per cent of the postcode areas on which data has been published, SMEs have more cash sitting in the bank than the total value of their debt.