The new Charter covers business customers across both Lloyds TSB and Bank of Scotland and includes measures to help 300,000 new SMEs start up by 2012. It sets out a range of commitments to help stimulate demand and boost access to finance for SMEs; provide guidance to help businesses grow successfully; and clarify the terms on which the Group will lend to its customers.
The initiative is part of a strategy to build relationships with customers through the economic cycle – fulfilling a promise to support businesses during downturns and upturns. They are intended to help provide confidence and clarity to businesses as the economy starts to emerge from recession and they build on the promises made by the Group in this year’s Charter for small firms.
John Maltby, managing director, commercial, Lloyds Banking Group, said: “Just as businesses needed support during the depths of the downturn, it is critical that we give them the right guidance and help them grow as the momentum of recovery starts to build.
“There is no doubt that business optimism is the foundation of any economic upturn and through the pledges we have set out today, to encourage enterprise, boost access to finance and provide clearer and fairer pricing, we hope to give businesses across the country the confidence they need to grow and lead the UK out of recession.”
Professor Russel Griggs, chairman, SME Council, CBI, said: “Understanding how credit is provided is fundamental to all SMEs. Anything that increases that transparency and understanding is welcome because SMEs can then work more closely with banks to change or further enhance their business and address any concerns.”