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Bank of Scotland announces small business support package

23
Dec '08
Bank of Scotland has announced that it is finalising negotiations with the European Investment Bank (EIB) to secure £250m in funding to support its SME customers during difficult trading conditions.

The funding from EIB will enable Bank of Scotland to provide lending facilities to its customers at a significant discount (up to 80bps) to standard rates. Bank of Scotland is working with the EIB to define the terms and conditions of how this funding will be made available to its SME customers.

In addition to EIB funding, Bank of Scotland has also committed to a range of other measures aimed at providing some reassurance to its 180,000 small business customers:

Bank of Scotland is committed to guaranteeing pricing on Bank of Scotland small business customer overdrafts for 12 months from the date of arrangement for new loans and renewals.

Bank of Scotland is committed to maintaining the link between small business overdraft rates and Base Rate rather than LIBOR. Small business customers will continue to benefit immediately from any cut in interest rates.

Bank of Scotland is committed to maintaining overdraft facilities for 12 months from the date of arrangement or renewal and will not make them repayable on demand.

Bank of Scotland is also committed to improving the level of support and advice on offer for its small business customers. The first step in this process will be the launch of a helpline in early 2009, which will provide customers with recourse to ensure that any concerns regarding their banking facilities are heard at a senior level. The helpline will also aim to reassure customers that the bank's policies and procedures are being implemented consistently from senior management down to all levels.

As of 8th December, Bank of Scotland will provide a downloadable guide to 'managing your cash flow', helping small business customers conduct regular cash flow projections and maintain an overview of their cash flow position at all times. Bank of Scotland is also working with the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform to provide access to a new series of guides which provide advice on key financial instruments such as factoring, invoicing and credit insurance. These guides will also be available from the 8th December.

Announcing Bank of Scotland's small business support package, Adrian Grace, Managing Director of Bank of Scotland Commercial said:

"Bank of Scotland has been supporting and funding small businesses for over 300 years. We understand the financial pressures that they are facing during these difficult economic times. That is precisely why we have launched this package of measures – to provide both financial assistance and, equally importantly, some reassurance that the Bank is committed to supporting small business throughout the UK. We are confident that these measures will make a real difference to our small business customers."

Bank of Scotland


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