CYBG group commits to providing billions in loans to SMEs
CYBG, owner of Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, today pledged to this year make £1bn available to SMEs for day-to-day financing, £350m available to provide facilities for medium sized businesses seeking growth and £650 million available to support our other key sectors that provide lending for major property purchases, financial services and the UK’s industrial base.
In addition up to £200 million will be specifically made available to SMEs in the agriculture sector, supporting the UK’s rural economy.
The commitment comes as the bank today publishes new research, suggesting that 35 per cent of SMEs continue to find accessing finance from banks a challenge.
It showed that nine per cent of SMEs considered accessing finance to be either “very difficult” or “almost impossible”.
The research also highlights that 41 per cent of those businesses based in the regions - outside of London and the South East - believe they do not have access to finance on an equal basis to businesses located in London.
Gavin Opperman, group customer banking director, CYBG, said: “With our rich and longstanding heritage across core regional economies, we recognise the important role local businesses have in forming the backbone of the UK economy, by providing employment and financial security for business owners and their employees.
“CYBG has been acting as a regional economic champion for over 175 years and we have a history of supporting businesses at critical moments in their growth.
“Our focus on developing lifelong relationships with our customers via our business banking centres and regional managers means we have developed the expertise to understand the varying challenges businesses face at different stages in their life cycle.
“With more than £2 billion in funding available in 2017 and £6 billion over the next three years, CYBG is proud to finance the innovation and creativity of small and medium enterprises across the UK.”
Last year CYBG was successfully listed as an independent Bank in 2016 having been previously part of the National Australia Bank.
Since its independence the bank’s core SME business has returned to growth for the first time in five years in 2016, growing by 6.1 per cent, with more than 90 per cent of SME lending focused on the UK regions outside of London.
The increase in funding has enjoyed a warm welcome from the Government’s small business minister Margot James, who said: “Today’s announcement from Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank will be welcome news for SMEs across the country that want to access the finance they need to grow and prosper. I am especially pleased to see that 90 per cent of this credit facility is destined for businesses outside London and the South East, with a focus on Yorkshire.”
Tom Riordan, chief executive for Leeds City Council, said: “Small and mid-sized businesses are a central part of our economic growth story, employing hundreds and thousands of people across every sector.
“Access to finance is a critical part of helping them to grow and play an even bigger part in the local economy, so I’m pleased to see Yorkshire Bank’s continued commitment to increase lending to them, particularly here in their Yorkshire heartland”.