Danny McCance 11 Apr 2017 02:56pm

SMEs promised £6bn financial boost

The owner of Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks, CYGB, has pledged a minimum of £6bn of lending to be made available for SME’s between 2017 and 2019

CYGB’s commitment to lending includes £1bn being made available to support the day-to-day finance needs of SMES through 2017.

Margot James, small business minister, welcomes the news. “Supporting business to grow is one of the ten pillars of the government's Industrial Strategy Green Paper and we are committed to creating the right conditions for SMEs to thrive as part of our plan to build an economy that works for all,” said James.

Research conducted on behalf of the banking group found that 35% of SMEs reported that finding access to finance from banks is difficult, with 9% describing it as “very difficult” or “almost impossible”.

Access to finance is cited as the most important factor for 41% of the small companies surveyed.

“We have developed the expertise to understand the varying challenges businesses face at different stages in their lifecycle”, said Gavin Opperman, group customer banking director, CYBG.

“With more than £2bn in funding available in 2017 and £6bn over the next three years, CYBG is proud to finance the innovation and creativity of small and medium enterprises across the UK.”

The commitment also comes in the form of £350m aimed at supporting SMEs seeking finance for growth; £200m to support financing for agricultural and rural economies and £650m to support other key sectors that provide lending for property purchases, financial services and the UK industrial base throughout 2017.

The end of last year saw the launch of a new referral system aimed at SME financing. The new rule, which follows implementation of the Small Business Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, requires a bank that refuses finance to write to the SME explaining why its application was turned down.

The letter will also offer the business the opportunity to be referred to the three platforms currently on the Treasury’s approved list – Funding Options, Funding Xchange and Business Finance Compared.