It's fair to say, the high street banks are not on anyone's Christmas card list; but can a new Growing Business package, launched by Cydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, restore SMEs faith in UK banking?
The 80 per cent of SMEs who plan to expand will now have the support of Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, who unveiled new, additional support for businesses looking to start up, expand or switch their banking arrangements.
“We have continued to support businesses throughout the economic downturn, that commitment is undiminished,” said the director of business and private banking at Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, Paul Shephard. “Today we have launched a package of initiatives that enhances our existing range of competitive products and underlines our support for growing business.”
The Banks will provide a number of diverse schemes, each aimed at different businesses at different stages in their lifecycle. The measures are as follows:
1. The launch of fee-free business loans and overdrafts. The removal of an arrangement fee could save businesses up to £10,000 on a £500,000 business loan.
2. For businesses looking to grow, the banks have launched a £1bn business expansion fund. This fund is specifically aimed at supporting those businesses looking to grow their current operations through new or improved equipment or machinery, greater space, or diversification, and is open to all types of business.
3. The banks are committed to maintain their current offer of free banking for start-up businesses. This offer gives free day-to-day banking for new businesses for 24 months, saving them £720 per year on average at a time when funds are at a premium.
4. The 18 months of free day-to-day banking for businesses will be extended. This is understood to be the longest free period currently on offer to switching businesses.
“In the last year we have seen an increasing number of growing businesses coming to us with plans to invest in better or more equipment and machinery, or for support involving new or extended premises.” Continues Shephard. “By ring-fencing this fund, a growing business can be confident that we are actively lending to support expansion.”
The Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks' Growing Business package will allow SMEs to free up equity which can then be fuelled into other areas of business. The scheme is definitely promising, but for a noticeable economic impact a larger number of high street banks need to get on board.