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Bank 'on track' to beat business lending goals

Date Added: 12/06/2013  

A bank has set a goal of lending £300 million to small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by the end of 2015.

Cambridge & Counties Bank stated that it has already been able to lend £90 million to small firms and help them to grow and boost the economy as a result.

Gary Wilkinson, chief executive of Cambridge & Counties Bank, explained a lot of companies have been forced to work with their hands tied in the last couple of years because of a lack of available finance from high street lenders.

This may have led to some SMEs needing to take business debt advice in order to avoid being served with a winding up order in recent months, with official data showing the amount being loaned to smaller organisations is falling despite the attempts of the government and the Bank of England with the Funding for Lending Scheme.

Indeed, a recent survey carried out by AXA Business Insurance found that around half of small business owners have not even heard of the Funding for Lending Scheme, which was set up last year. Just five per cent of SMEs who said they had heard of it suggested that it was working for small firms.

"Our popularity shows that there needs to be more activity from alternative lenders," said Mr Wilkinson, which could lead SME owners to seek other ways of financing their firms other than asking for a loan from a high street bank.

He added that the local and personal relationship approach employed by the bank is one of the reasons why it has enjoyed so much success over the course of the last 12 months.

Mr Wilkinson also noted that the company employs business development managers focusing primarily on its heartland regions of East Midlands and East Anglia and this has been another factor in it being able to lend £90 million to SMEs in the last year.

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Posted by Michael Beam

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