§ Mr. Jim Cunningham
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans his Department has(a) to encourage the growth of community finance initiatives to promote regeneration in poorer areas and (b) to ask banks to disclose information on their servicing of poorer areas. 
§ Ms Hewitt
[holding answer 9 December 1998]: As part of the Government's Social Exclusion agenda, I have established two Policy Action Teams looking at 1) Business and 2) Access to Financial Services in 306W poorer neighbourhoods, which are due to report in July 1999. As part of its remit, the team looking at Business will consider a wide range of methods to improve the availability of finance for small and start-up businesses in deprived areas. The Access to Financial Services team will also consider the service banks provide to customers in poorer areas and consider with the Banks possible measures for improvement.