SME Finance Charter to “increase small business access to finance”
The new SME Finance Charter will ensure small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have access to finance, it has been revealed.
The Charter, launched this week, has been signed by top business banks and associations including the British Business Bank, UK Finance, HSBC, Lloyds and Santander.
Under the commitment, members have pledged to support SME customers beyond Brexit proceedings by launching new sources of finance and working together to help SMEs secure the investment capital they require.
Commenting on the announcement, Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said: “I have met many businesses since my appointment as Business Secretary and access to finance is a common cause of concern. We want to see the banks and lenders back our small and medium-sized businesses, and this commitment is the first step in giving them the confidence they need to invest and grow.
“Finance is available, and I would urge SMEs to talk to their providers and get the advice they need to scale up on a truly global stage ahead of us leaving the EU and into the future.”
Signatory Stephen Jones, CEO of UK Finance, also encouraged SMEs to reach out to finance providers now to discuss how to best prepare and “consider additional financing needs”.
The Charter comes after recent research revealed that almost 800 small businesses have found alternative finance options through the Bank Referral Scheme (BRS) in the past 12 months, raising over £17 million in funding.
The initiative aims to link small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with an alternative finance provider after they have been turned down by a mainstream bank or building society.
Click here for more information on the SME Finance Charter.
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