To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate his Department has made of the amount of credit card debt small businesses have accumulated since the outbreak of covid-19 in (a) England and (b) North East England; and what estimate his Department has made of the proportion of that debt that will be repaid.
30 November 2021
Many SME owners use personal credit cards to fund their business activities. The latest SME Finance Monitor (Q2 2021) sets out that use of credit cards among SMEs fell by half from 18% in 2019 to 9% in 2021. Additionally, Bank of England credit card data shows that quarterly household credit card lending fell nearly 20% from £1.36 billion in Q4 2019 to £1.09bn in Q4 2020 – although this data is not disaggregated by region, or into personal and business use.
There is no readily available estimate of SMEs’ ability to repay existing credit card debt. Any SME worried about their ability to do so should talk to their lender in the first instance, which will be best placed to talk them through their options.