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The SME Finance Charter

Five pledges from UK banks and finance providers to support their SME customers

We're open for business and ready to lend

Our prudent model, based on a strong financial position and balance sheet, has allowed us to continue to lend and support our customers in a wide range of market conditions over the last 30 years. Many of our businesses lend principally to SMEs, both through our direct sales force and via broker distribution channels. This includes our Asset Finance business, which provides commercial asset financing, hire purchase and leasing solutions for a diverse range of assets and sectors, and our Invoice and Speciality Finance business that works with over 2,000 small businesses providing debt factoring, invoice discounting and asset-based lending. We are confident that this model will continue to serve us well as we remain committed to supporting our customers now and into the future.

We'll help you build back better after Covid-19

We remain committed to supporting our customers and clients as the economy recovers following Covid-19. Each of our diverse, specialist businesses have deep industry knowledge so they can understand the challenges and opportunities that our customers and clients face. We work with a wide variety of businesses of many sizes to help support their growth, improve their infrastructure or invest in new assets, and have a deep understanding of our customers' needs and the markets they operate in. Our relationship managers are always there to discuss any concerns or requirements you may have, and to help make sure you have access to the finance you need when it matters the most.

We'll support your application and signpost other options if needed

We pride ourselves on understanding the needs of SMEs and on helping them to achieve their ambitions. Our specialist expertise and deep industry knowledge allow us to support our customers unique commercial ambitions, and by better understanding businesses and their communities our local teams can make fast, reliable lending decisions when they need them most.

We'll treat you fairly at all times

Our code of conduct and key customer principles ensure that we seek the right outcomes for our customers, always endeavour to ensure our pricing is fair and appropriate, and are clear and consistent in the way we communicate. Taking the time to understand and build strong long-term relationships with our customers is part of our culture, and we care strongly about delivering excellent service and thinking that is both entrepreneurial and disciplined, and always acting with integrity.  

We will work with the Government-owned British Business Bank (BBB) to support SMEs

We remain committed to our ongoing positive dialogue with the British Business Bank, and are dedicated to identifying solutions for SMEs aligned with the goals of the British Business Bank programmes. Resources to help growing businesses understand and discover different finance options are available through the British Business Bank’s Finance Hub and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales’ Business Finance Guide.