Proposals setting out how banks will help small and medium sized companies access the finance they need are contained in the report by the Business Finance Taskforce.
The Taskforce was set up following publication of the government's green paper, 'Financing the Private Sector Recovery', published on 26 July 2010.
The Taskforce was made up of the CEOs and senior representatives of the six largest UK banks: Barclays; HSBC; Lloyds Banking Group; Royal Bank of Scotland; Santander; and Standard Chartered.
Overview of bank borrowing by businesses in the £1million-£100million turnover bracket by The pH Group Ltd part of Experian
Lending application checklist
As part of the Taskforce recommendations, we promised that customers will be provided with a checklist of the information their bank will need to see to consider their application properly. This document provides a summary of typical requirements customers can expect at their bank. Click to download the Lending application checklist
Project Merlin partnership agreed - 9 February 2011
Posted on behalf of the 'Merlin' group of banks:
On behalf of the participating banks, John Varley said:
"The statements made by the major UK banks and the Government today demonstrate their clear and shared intent to work together to help the uk economy recover and grow. The banks welcome this new collaboration. They look forward to delivering on their part and to playing their full role in supporting investment by UK businesses and households. This will generate much needed growth and jobs. Their ability to do these things will be greatly aided by the government’s commitment to fostering an environment in which banks can compete on a level playing field." - read more
HM Treasury - Press Notice - 9 February 2011
Government welcomes banks’ statements on lending 15% more to SMEs, and on pay and support for regional growth - click here
Response from stakeholders
Matthew Fell, CBI Director of Competitive Markets, said:
"These proposals will make a positive contribution to the financing of British business, which is essential for economic recovery. The measures represent a welcome step forward from the polarised and unproductive debate about lending to business."
Miles Templeman, Director-General of the Institute of Directors said:
“The Taskforce's report sets out a number of welcome improvements to the service banks offer to small businesses. The IoD particularly welcomes the creation of a £1.5bn Business Growth Fund and the banking community’s desire to work with all business organisations on the development of a network of business mentors.
“While today’s recommendations are a step in the right direction, we must not fool ourselves into thinking that these measures alone will offer a silver bullet to the problems of access to finance, cost and the levels of personal securities still being requested.
“The IoD looks forward to working with the BBA and the banking community as part of the Business Finance Round Table and delivering on the proposals set out in today’s paper.”