Both Nationwide Building Society and Metro Bank are returning a £50m grant, which Rangewell says should now go towards dentistry.
The grant was initially created to encourage banks to enter the business banking market. However, both banks have decided against this move now and will return the money to the Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) Capability & Innovation Fund.
Rangewell now believes this fund is no longer fit for purpose following the current coronavirus crisis. It believes this fund would be better used helping healthcare businesses, such as dental practices. Many of which are facing unprecedented pressures on cash flow.
‘It’s not even been a year since Nationwide won the £50 million award from the Banking Competition Remedies fund,’ Nic Conner, Rangewell’s head of research says.
‘They have already abandoned their plans to finance small business at a time when they are most needed.
‘Healthcare businesses such as dentists are the hidden backbone in ensuring the health and wellbeing of the nation; they don’t have time to be worrying about cash flow right now.’
Rangewell is suggesting a simple mechanism, which would allow all eligible healthcare businesses to apply for a grant.
- Loans up to 10% of 2019 turnover
- For a period of five years
- No personal guarantees
- Interest-free for the full duration of the loan.
The business finance specialists also highlight how dentists’ roles will be in more demand than ever once the lockdown is lifted.
‘Rangewell’s suggestion to re-allocate the £100m being handed back to the Treasury from the failed Banking Competition Remedies Scheme and quickly getting it into the hands of healthcare businesses such as dentists in the form of an interest-free five-year loan would be innovative; exactly what the original scheme was designed to be,’ Nic continues.
‘The Treasury urgently needs to get all unspent Banking Competition Remedies funds and ensure it is used to support the charities and businesses that need it most.
‘When I say urgently, I mean within days not months. British businesses need the cash now.’
Rangewell is a business finance specialist company that works with UK SMEs and their advisers to help them find, compare and apply for business finance.
Rangewell is unique in having comprehensively and independently mapped over 300 business finance lenders and 23,000 business finance products in the UK.
In 2019, Rangewell transacted with 87 different individual lenders. The breadth and depth of its market and sector knowledge gives it a unique real-time insight into the UK SME’s business lending landscape.