Bank boss pledges cash to small to medium-sized businesses
A bank chief has written personally to a million small
business customers telling them it has £5billion to lend.
Amid weak demand for business loans, António Horta-Osório, chief
executive of Lloyds Banking Group, has pledged to lend £5 billion
to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in 2013 under the
Funding for Lending scheme.
It follows a similar letter to small businesses last year – and
comes as the Group records a rise in SME net lending growth of 7%
over the last two years, against a market decline of 8%.
He said: “Small and medium-sized businesses are the bedrock of
the UK economy and I am determined to give them all the support
"This reassurance is critical if we are to help rekindle
confidence and spur economic growth and that is why I want to give
my personal commitment to supporting the sector through the letter
I have sent today.”
SME clients approved for a loan are given a 1% interest discount
for the life of the loan, regardless of their sector. The letter
makes it clear that the Group will continue to grow its lending to
SMEs on a net basis throughout 2013.
It also commits to helping 100,000 start-ups get off the ground
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