Most of the UK’s banks and other lenders have signed up to the Government’s Finance Charter in a bid to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) access finance as they plan for a future post Brexit.
The Charter was adopted at the first meeting of the new Business Finance Council, which will work with lenders to ensure their SME customers can access the finance they need to grow and thrive.
The Council’s members include major lenders and providers of alternative finance, UK Finance and the Finance and Leasing Association, the British Business Bank (BBB) and Business Representative Organisations.
The Finance Charter is made up of five overarching pledges from lenders that outline their commitments to SMEs in the coming weeks. Each lender, which has become a signatory to the Charter, now needs to outline what specific actions they will take to deliver on the pledges.
The signatories have pledged that they are ‘open for business and ready to lend’, that they will help SMEs prepare for Brexit, that they will provide clear and accessible information for those seeking finance, that they will treat all customers fairly and that they will work with the British Business Bank to signpost their guidance and to help businesses secure a loan or overdraft, even if they lack the security for the borrowing, giving SMEs the ability to invest and expand.
New lenders are signing up every day, with peer-to-peer (P2P) lender Funding Circle and specialist asset-based lender Ultimate Finance being the latest to pledge to support the initiative.
Nigel Fry, General Practice Partner at Milsted Langdon, said: “Finance for SMEs is crucial to them to grow and innovate their business, and the Government’s Finance Charter should help firms access the finance they need. With Brexit on the horizon, business owners are keen to ensure the continued success of their business in a changing trade environment, and the charter aims to provide more certainty in a key aspect of this.
“For advice on matters relating to corporate finance, contact our expert team at Milsted Langdon today.”