Banks launch SME lending campaign

City A.M. Reporter
A task force of Britain's major banks have launched a campaign to make lending to small and medium-sized businesses more transparent, the British Bankers Association said.

Under the scheme, backed by the BBA, the banks will have to provide businesses with the result of a loan appeal within 30 days and information on alternative sources of finance if loans are denied.

The banks involved are HSBC, Barclays, RBS and Santander.

"We are delighted to announce the launch of the Better Business Finance campaign," BBA chief executive Angela Knight, said.

She said the move "represents the banking industry's continued commitment to providing small and medium sized businesses with the information and support that they need."

In February, Britain finalised a deal with its banks to curb their bonuses and get them to lend more to business in the wake of a sharp downturn in business lending after the credit crisis.

The deal, known as "Project Merlin," would see Britain's top banks lend about £190bn to business this year, up from about £179bn.