October 18, 2011

Big banks launch Community Business Loan scheme

by Jan Harris

Two of the UK’s largest banks, RBS and Natwest, are fighting back against recent criticism that mainstream banks are failing to adequately support small businesses. The pair have launched a new £5 million Community Business Loan scheme, which will offer funding to small organisations who would not normally be considered for mainstream bank credit. With […]




July 11, 2011

SMEs cautious over bank funding

by Jan Harris

Small businesses who applied for bank funding over the last 12 months were likely to have been successful, according to new research. Market research firm BDRC Continental found that 72% of SMEs who applied for an overdraft were successful and 59% successfully secured a loan. However, only 15% of the businesses surveyed applied for new […]




June 6, 2011

Small business groups call for easier funding access

by Jan Harris

Despite the government’s recent efforts to improve the availability of funding for small businesses, five groups have called for a review of funding for SMEs. Last month the Bank of England revealed that lending to small businesses under the government’s Project Merlin initiative missed its target by £2.2m in the first quarter. The banks claimed […]




May 23, 2011

Banks fail to meet SME lending targets

by Jan Harris

Under ‘Project Merlin’ the UK’s four largest banks – HSBC, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group – together with Santander, agreed to make £76bn of credit available to smaller businesses in 2011, 15% more than was lent to SMEs in 2010. However the banks failed to keep this promise in the first […]




May 17, 2011

Questions raised over new fund for SMEs

by Jan Harris

Banks are launching a new fund designed to help small businesses this week, but questions are already being raised over whether it will achieve its target of 40 deals a year. The Business Growth Fund (BGF), which has been established by Britain’s top six banks to, will invest £2.5bn of capital to invest in businesses […]




April 15, 2011

RBS supports SMEs with new loan scheme

by Jan Harris

RBS is planning to help SMEs secure funding through the launch of a publicly-funded loan scheme which will be available to clients whose funding applications have been turned down. Acknowledging that some SMEs slip through the funding net, Stephen Hester, RBS’s chief executive, said it was in the bank’s interest to support the small corporate […]




February 18, 2011

Government’s growth strategy not sufficient

by Jan Harris

A report by the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee warns that there are holes in the government’s strategy for economic growth. The cross-party Business, Innovation and Skills Committee has warned that the government does not have the necessary policies in place to achieve its ambitions for growth. Business Secretary Vince Cable accepted the finding of […]




April 27, 2010

Interest rates turn SMEs away from banks

by Jan Harris

A survey by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) shows that UK SMEs are still finding it tough to secure bank funding, and are increasingly seeking alternative sources of finance. The survey, of over 1,400 FSB members, found that only 18 per cent of SMEs have sought new credit from banks over the past two […]