Treasury has made two statutory instruments under the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 aimed at easing access to finance for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs):
- the Small and Medium Sized Business (Finance Platforms) Regulations 2015 take effect on 1 January 2016 and impose a duty on designated banks to provide specified information about their SME customers that they reject for finance to designated finance platforms (FPs), and a duty, in turn, on designated FPs to provide specified information to finance providers who seek to access it. The Regulations give FCA monitoring powers, and allow complaints to FOS about designated FPs; and
- the Small and Medium Sized Business (Credit Information) Regulations 2015 also take effect on 1 January 2016 and impose a duty on designated banks to provide information about their SME customers to designated credit reference agencies (CRAs) and for the CRAs to pass information to finance providers. These Regulations grant similar powers to FCA and FOS to those introduced in the Finance Regulations.