Tuesday 25 February 2014 8:20 pm

MPs find themselves out of a job

YOU’D be forgiven for thinking access to finance is the biggest issue facing SMEs at the moment – and up until yesterday you were in good company, as MPs very much thought so too. Just last week the Treasury Select Committee launched an investigation into business lending and yesterday held its first evidence session with business leaders – only to find they had wasted their time. “I don’t think access to finance is the biggest problem facing small businesses … Our own surveys ask about constraints on accessing finance. That has pretty much normalized at the levels it was at previous to credit crisis, ” said Matthew Fell from the Confederation of British Industry. The flabbergasted MPs didn’t quite know what to say. “I might be minded to ask if this enquiry is still relevant,” noted Labour MP Andy Love. Face plant. ■ SEVEN Hills founder Michael Hayman reminded attendees of the London Stock Exchange’s chief Xavier Rolet’s racier side at the launch of the International Festival for Business at LSE yesterday. He introduced Rolet to the stage to talk about business growth with: “Here’s a man familiar with acceleration, having completed the Dakar rally…” Indeed, Rolet it turns out, is an acclaimed rally driver – having raced in four Dakar rallies (although finishing only two). It’s good to know he’s made of strong stuff.