POLITICS
26/07/2013 14:28 BST | Updated 26/07/2013 15:52 BST

Vince Cable's ‘Capital Taliban' Jibe Is ‘Inflammatory' And 'A Distraction', Say Businesses

PA
Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills talks during the Federation of Small Businesses Conference 2013 at The Curve, Leicester.

Vince Cable’s attack on the Bank of England’s ‘capital Taliban’ hampering the banks’ ability to lend to small businesses has drawn mixed reaction from the business community.

Earlier this week the LibDem business secretary spoke out against the “capital Taliban” in the Bank of Engalnd forcing banks to shore up more capital in reserves, potentially limiting their ability to help businesses.

He told the Financial Times on Wednesday: "One of the anxieties in the business community is that the so-called 'capital Taliban' in the Bank of England are imposing restrictions which at this delicate stage of recovery actually make it more difficult for companies to operate and expand."

A spokesman from the Institute of Directors told the Huffington Post UK: “The Business Secretary is right to criticise regulators because the end result of their demands is that banks are not strong enough to support recovery."

“Slapping restrictive capital requirements on banks might make regulators and politicians feel better, but it doesn’t help the economy to perform better.”

However, other businesspeople disagreed with Cable’s “inflammatory language” and “political rhetoric”.

Jason Yeomans, CEO of the cloud-computing firm PMGC Technology, said: “Vince Cable is all talk. If ever there was a political rhetoric royal family, he would be King, Queen and newly born Prince.

"Banks are not lending to small businesses – we constantly hear that entrepreneurs and small business are collectively the saviours of the UK economy. Not so, if our ideas and efforts are not backed, even less so when they simply pay lip service to the cries for help from the business community, causing distraction and false hope."

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Lee Perkins, MD of the UK & Ireland small business division of software provider Sage said: “Vince Cable’s inflammatory language is in danger of moving discussion into territory that makes it difficult to have a sensible and constructive conversation on what really matters – ensuring access to finance for the UK’s small and growing businesses.

“We cannot afford to get drawn into a sideshow of name calling or political point scoring.”