UK banks introduce mentoring scheme for SMEs

| July 4, 2011 | 0 Comments
”UK

The UK’s five largest banks: Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Bank of Scotland and Santander, have launched a scheme aimed at providing support and financial advice for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The initiative comes at a time when banks have come under fire for not lending enough to SMEs.

Under the Project Merlin deal, agreed earlier this year, the big five banks all committed to lend around £19 billion every quarter to SMEs.

However, in the first quarter, the banks loaned £16.8 billion – around £2 billion short of the target.

The latest initiative was established by the business finance taskforce and will offer firms support in areas such as finance, marketing and HR.

Speaking to the BBC, Stephen Pegg, director at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “Having a bit of financial input, someone to ask the right questions… helps you put together better lending propositions so actually that finance can get out there and businesses can be encouraged to have the confidence to invest and the contacts to look at a wider range of finance.”

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