Business Banking

Half of UK Start-Ups Rejected for Finance Told they Hadn’t Been Trading for Long Enough

Study finds 44% of small businesses are self-funding to raise necessary capital Almost half of the UK’s small and medium businesses rejected for finance were turned down because they hadn’t been trading for long enough, according to a new study by invoice finance provider Bibby Financial Services. Surveying over 1,000 businesses, the research found that 44% of start-ups had used their own savings or borrowed money from friends or family after being turned down for funding from banks and investors. The study also found that in the last year alone one in five small and medium enterprises have been rejected for funding. Bibby Financial Services CEO, David Postings, discussed the research: “Accessing finance is still a challenge for a large number of viable businesses. “The fact that half of t... »

New Cambridge & Counties Bank Targets Small Businesses

A new bank focused on helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) launches today. The Cambridge & Counties Bank will be providing UK small businesses with loans secured against property, a secured pension lending scheme and a competitive deposit account. Future finance plans include professional firm financing and savings accounts for both retail and non-retail businesses. At a time when many SMEs say they are finding it difficult to secure finance, Cambridge & Counties Bank backs up this premise with an analysis of industry data showing that over 60,000 business loans and business overdraft applications were rejected last year, worth an estimated £3 billion to the country’s SMEs. Gary Wilkinson, the new Cambridge & Counties Bank CEO said: “We have been able t... »

Bank Lending Improving in the Manufacturing Sector

Bank lending to manufacturing firms improved in April and May for the first time since the end of the recession, manufacturing organisation the EEF has said. The EEF survey of 500 small manufacturing firms found that the same number of businesses reported a rise in bank lending in April and May, as reported a fall. In comparison, in February and March more firms saw a drop in access to credit than an increase. The findings come despite reports that UK banks are failing to deliver on their lending targets to small firms under the Project Merlin agreement (PDF). Recent figures from the Bank of England (BoE) highlighted that the top five UK banks loaned £16.8 billion to small firms in the first three months of 2011 ? despite a target of £19 billion per quarter under Project Merlin... »

Bring Back Traditional Bank Managers says Business Group

Bring back traditional bank managers and increase competition, says business group in the wake of Project Merlin’s poor lending figures The Forum of Private Business is responding to the announcement that the UK’s major banks are more than £2 billion short of hitting their small business lending target by repeating its calls for better competition, more investment in regional branches and the restoration of lending powers to local bank managers. As part of their commitment to lending £190 billion to businesses in 2011 – including £76 billion to small and medium-sized companies – the ‘big five’ banks have pledged to lend £19 billion in the first three months of the year. However, just £16.8 billion has been lent. According to a joint statement by the Project Me... »

Bank Roadshows Help Small Businesses Access Finance

Business owners can find out how to make the strongest case for a loan, following the launch of a series of regional roadshows by the Business Finance Taskforce. The Better Business Finance initiative was originally announced in October 2010 by the taskforce, which is led by the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) and includes the main six high street banks. The initiative is part of its commitment to improve small businesses’ access to bank finance and advice. The first free “outreach event” took place in Sheffield this month, where local businesses took part in workshops and a panel discussion. Similar events are due to follow in all the UK’s major cities, listed on the Better Business Finance events page. BBA spokeswoman, Lesley McLeod, said that the initiative shows the banks’ support f... »

Small Business Banking – The List of Banks

Business bank accounts differ from regular current or savings accounts. Offering services such as online banking, foreign exchange policies and payment/collection options, small business banking is the most appropriate option for UK SMEs. Whether you’re a sole trader or a medium-sized enterprise, there are a number of banks offering business banking. Below is a list of small business banking services offered in the UK. Aldermore Launched in 2009 Aldermore is one of Britain’s new "challenger banks" and is focused on helping British SMEs. Bank of Scotland Business Banking Offering free 18 months day-to-day banking, free guidance & support, free Sage planning software. Barclays Business Banking Your own Local Business Manager, choice of start-up packages, free local ... »

More “human” Approach to Business Lending Needed

Barclays Bank is right to fight Government-imposed lending targets for small firms, say business groups – but they want competition among banks and a more “human” approach to lending. Speaking to the Financial Times, the head of Barclays’ small-business unit, Steve Cooper, argued that imposing lending targets would create a culture of making weak loans simply to meet targets. Cooper was speaking in response to news that the Government is exploring the option of introducing targets to all banks, not just the part-nationalised banks in which it owns a stake. But small-business groups are united with banks in opposing the suggestion. “We agree with Barclays that they are best placed to decide who to loan to,” said Forum of Private Business (FPB) spokesman Chris Gorman. “We value Government pr... »

Cable Looks to Boost Small Business Lending

Cable Looks to Boost Small Business Lending

Financing a Private Sector Recovery In an attempt to increase lending to small business the Business Secretary, Vince Cable, has been criticial of banking institutions by saying that banks are "…not acting in the national interest. I don’t think they get it." Mr Cable has suggested that there may need to be a "carrot and stick" approach to bank dividends and bonuses. In a report released today Financing a Private Sector Recovery, HM Treasury and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) put forward the case for "sustainable and secure sources of finance for investment". Both Vince Cable and The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, acknowledge the importance of UK SMEs as the focus for this finance drive by stating that: &ldquo... »