Major banks have been accused of denying credit to owners of pubs and restaurants due to misplaced fears over their viability, a lobby group has warned.
The Forum of Private Business (FPB) has urged banks to look at the feasibility of each pub on a case by case basis rather than imposing a blanket ban on credit to its members.
Business Minister Ian Lucas added heat to the argument in parliament yesterday (Thursday 16 July) when he admitted that he was "well aware of the problem".
FPB national chairman Noel Guilford urged the Government to intervene as a matter of urgency to avoid huge job losses.
"The banks' attitude to small businesses in the hospitality sector is disgraceful," he said. "Most of these pub businesses are viable and will survive but need help over the next few months.
"We have evidence that banks are taking a negative blanket approach to this sector which is directly against what the Government said they should do."
By Emma White
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