Lloyds appoints Yorkshire director to champion SMEs

Lloyds has appointed Steve Harris as its regional director for Yorkshire and the North EastLloyds has appointed Steve Harris as its regional director for Yorkshire and the North East
Lloyds has appointed Steve Harris as its regional director for Yorkshire and the North East
Lloyds Bank has appointed Steve Harris as its regional director for Yorkshire and the North East, as part of its aim to champion the growth of SME and mid-corporate firms across Yorkshire and help them navigate, and ultimately recover from, the impact of Covid-19.

Lloyds said that Mr Harris brings more than three decades of experience in corporate and commercial banking, before he joined Lloyds Bank in 2011.

He moves to the post after serving as head of manufacturing in the bank’s corporate and institutional coverage team since 2018. Lloyds said that in this role, Mr Harris and his team supported some of the UK’s biggest manufacturers.

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During his time at the bank, he has also held roles supporting businesses across the whole of the North of England. Lloyds said he has built extensive knowledge of the key challenges and opportunities, and he knows how to provide support to help the region’s businesses prosper.

Based at Lovell Park in Leeds, Lloyds Bank’s biggest commercial banking hub outside of London, Mr Harris joins an almost 90-strong team dedicated to supporting the levelling up of the Yorkshire economy.

Mr Harris said: “Supporting the UK’s SME and mid-corporate businesses is critical as they look to bounce back from the impact of Covid-19 – and tailored support from a trusted banking partner will be key to their success.

“The region is home to some of the most resilient and innovative businesses in the country and I’m looking forward to building on the strong client and professional relationships we have to drive further growth and recovery.”

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He said that Yorkshire boasts some of the country’s leading universities, as well as leading the charge in key sectors such as healthcare, infrastructure and sustainability.

“The potential for growth and strong recovery in Yorkshire is vast,” he added.

“These are challenging times, but these businesses have shown resilience in the past, and can do so again with the tools to invest in products, services and talent.”

Lloyds said it is committed to helping businesses of all types and sizes, giving them the funding and support they need to grow at home and abroad. It has set out its pledges in its Helping Britain Prosper Plan.

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Since the start of 2011, the bank has expanded its net lending to SMEs by 36 per cent whilst the market has contracted by 11 per cent.

Earlier this year, Lloyds pledged its support to British businesses by lending them up to £18bn this year.

It said this commitment will support entrepreneurs looking to start a new business, micro-businesses seeking to scale up and small businesses considering trading internationally for the first time.

It will also support established mid-sized businesses and large, multinational corporations seeking further growth.

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The bank said it has consistently grown its net lending to SMEs, at a time when lending by the market as a whole has shrunk.

Since 2011, its net lending to SMEs has grown by 36 per cent even though the market has contracted by 11 per cent during the same period (according to the Bank of England).

The bank’s increase in support for British business has seen the Lloyds Banking Group share of the market increase to 19 per cent compared with 13 per cent in 2011, based on Bank of England data.

Lloyds said it has retained its focus on helping entrepreneurs fulfil their dreams of running their own business by supporting 100,000 start-ups in 2019.