It is fashionable these days to criticise and knock banks. Most people think that they caused the recession and many feel that they have not changed in the last few years. The media are happy to promote stories about evil banks causing small businesses lots of trouble.
But is this the reality in 2011? Lloyds Banking Group have recently put out some figures that do not seem to have been widely reported and also seem to show that the press view and the actual position are far apart.
For instance this year Lloyds alone lent £9.6Bn to SMEs out of a total of £32Bn to all UK businesses. They report in their bulletin, “ Supporting UK Businesses,” that they are on track to fulfil their part of the Merlin agreement for business lending. In fact there was a 2% growth in business lending year on year by Lloyds in its core Commercial sector. Further they have approved eight out of ten requests for loans and overdrafts this year.
Of course there will be exceptions to the rule. There will be stories of small businesses being turned down for loans and overdrafts. However, in the experience of this author, most times this is due to an inadequate business plan being presented making the loan simply unaffordable.
Whilst we have quoted Lloyds Bank figures, anecdotal evidence indicates that other banks are in a similar position and have upped their game considerably.
It is essential that if you are seeking financial help to develop your business that you work with your local bank manager, to make it easy for him or her to approve your request. We work with SMEs to help them develop a viable business strategy and financial plan that will simplify the process of obtaining financial support from the banks.
If you would like help with your business plan or just want someone to review it before you submit it to the bank contact Bob Francis on 07941 426807 or email us