£450 million of Discounted Business Bank Loans for SMEs

Small businesses will be able to access an extra £450 million of discounted loans after two high street banks negotiated extra European funding. Santander and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) have secured the funds from the European Investment Bank (EIB). RBS will be offering £300 million at 0.6% below its standard interest rate; Santander has £150 million to lend at 0.7% below its usual rate. Santander’s head of commercial banking, Steve Pateman, said the loans – aimed at small firms with fewer than 250 employees – would help boost economic recovery by making affordable capital available to small businesses at a time when they really need it, saying: “We’ll be able to assist more small and medium-sized customers with their expansion plans at discounted ... »

Another Small Business Banking Pledge – Santander

Santander’s new UK CEO, Ana Patricia Botin, had a trial by fire as she took up the reigns of the UK arm of the Spanish banking giant. Ms Botin, Britain’s first female bank boss, stood before the Treasury Select Committee in her inaugural public appearance, telling MPs that one of her top priorities was to improve customer service. In a recent Which? report, Santander was polled as Britain’s most complained-about bank, backed up by data from the Financial Services Authority (FSA), with around 216,158 complaints in the first half of 2010. After aggressive takeovers of Abbey, Alliance & Leicester and the Bradford & Bingley brands in recent years, Santander found itself struggling to integrate the separate banking houses and as a result customer service suffered as a ... »