Commenting on the latest Bank of England monthly Bankstats, a BBA spokesman said:
“These figures show that the net lending picture for Britain’s smaller businesses has been positive for three consecutive months. It’s heartening that fewer firms see access to finance as an obstacle to their business aspirations.
“Banks are in the business of lending and this is good news for the economy. We encourage any business to consider applying for credit to help them grow, export or take on new staff.”Read more
Responding to the Which? report entitled ‘Consumers frustrated by unauthorised overdraft fees’ the BBA’s Executive Director of Retail, Eric Leenders, said:
“Across the board overdraft charges have plummeted since 2008, with estimated consumer savings of up to £928 million over the past five years.
“Banks are keen to help customers compare account charges in a variety of ways, from making charges easier to understand to providing useful online calculators and mobile apps. They also itemise charges on bank statements and use text alerts to communicate important account information instantly.
“We agree with Which? that the Government’s midata initiative is an important new way for customers to compare costs. From next April all the major banks will make information about customers’ current account use available to them in downloadable spreadsheets.”Read more
Commenting on the publication of the Bank of England’s Q2 Funding for Lending Scheme statistics and the BBA’s latest figures on lending to SMEs, BBA Executive Director of Business Finance Irene Graham said:
“BBA figures out today show that we are starting to see a pickup in borrowing by small and medium sized businesses. It is also encouraging to see that the Funding for Lending Scheme is continuing to be used to help businesses. Companies are also increasing their cash reserves, which suggests that the sector is in a healthy position.
“The majority of businesses who approach their bank for a loan are successful and if they are not there is a process in place that allows them to appeal the decision. We’d encourage business owners thinking about borrowing to approach their bank to learn about the range of financing options that are available.”Read more
Commenting on the SME Finance Monitor 2014 Q2 results, a BBA spokesman said:
“It’s encouraging that more smaller businesses are making a profit, building up cash and planning to grow. Only 8% now consider access to finance an obstacle to their future plans. The vast majority of businesses say that they’re happy with their financial situation, and those who are looking to borrow have continued to become more confident about getting finance this year.
“High street banks approve nearly 7 out of 10 applications for lending and with an appeals process in place for those who are declined finance, we’d encourage small businesses thinking about borrowing to approach their bank to discuss the range of financing options available.”Read more
BBA Chief Economist Richard Woolhouse said:
“The banks have been working with the Government to help rebuild Britain’s savings culture. So it’s really encouraging to see evidence of savers taking advantage of the new cash ISA regime in the latest figures.
“Savings were a little low during the first half of 2014, but it seems people were just waiting until the new rules came into effect to invest their money.
“Initiatives like NISA are steps in the right direction but today’s household savings ratio is half that of our parents’ generation. More still needs to be done.”Read more
Anthony Browne, the BBA’s Chief Executive, has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer regarding the Government’s consultation on whether HM Revenue & Customs should have more powers to directly recover debts from taxpayers.Read more
Internet banking surges by nearly 40% in just four years
Customers use these services almost 800,000 times an hour
Customers of Britain’s high street banks used internet banking nearly 7 billion times in 2013, according to industry statistics compiled by the BBA.Read more
BBA chief economist, Richard Woolhouse, said:
“These figures suggest that British consumers have greater appetite to take on credit as the recovery takes hold. The number of payments on credit cards in June was 15% higher than in the same month last year.
“Customers are also harnessing more interest-free offers which show they are using these cards to take more control over how they spend and borrow.
“More than 40 per cent of all borrowing on cards incurs no interest at all. Customers clearly value the flexibility a credit card in your wallet or purse can give.”Read more
Commenting on Office of National Statistics figures on internet access, BBA Chief Executive Anthony Browne said:
“It’s great that more people than ever are banking online. Banks are working hard to make online banking accessible to everyone and online and mobile banking mean it’s now easier than ever to stay on top of your finances.
“It’s particularly good to see an increase in online banking amongst the over 50s who are now more likely to bank on the internet than to use Facebook or book a holiday.
“Of course we recognise that internet banking isn’t for everyone, and that’s why across the country the bank branch network is being modernised to ensure that all customers get the best possible service.”Read more
BBA Executive Director, Irene Graham said:
“The banking industry fully supports efforts to help match businesses rejected for finance with other lenders. In fact many of the banks already run programmes that refer businesses unsuited to bank finance to a range of alternative providers.
“We are also keen that any new process should give customers as many options as possible so that they can get the right finance for their business. It is equally important that the customer’s consent and choice is kept at the centre of any future scheme.”Read more