Lloyds Banking Group has announced that it surpassed its target to help 100,000 startups get off the ground by an extra 7,000.
The pledge was made as part of the bank’s SME Charter and “Helping Britain Prosper” plan, which aims to support UK enterprise.
Alison Brittain, Group Director of Lloyds’ Retail Division said: “Small businesses are vital to the UK economy and we’re proud to support the next generation of entrepreneurs.”
“From manufacturing to new services and innovative technology, the range of companies starting up is inspiring. Supporting over 100,000 new start-ups is part of the Group’s commitment to helping UK businesses prosper,” Tippin, Managing Director of Retail Business Banking.
“Our local knowledge in the community, sector expertise as well as access to our extensive mentors network puts us in a strong place to support start-ups. It’s not easy to start a business, or to commercialise a dream but the reward for us is seeing that business grow from a small fledgling today into a FTSE100 company tomorrow.”
The news marks a welcome change to a largely negative trend for bank lending in the UK. Many high street banks have come under fire in recent years for failing to lend to small businesses, or for treating them unfairly when they do. SMEs have increasingly been looking to alternative finance options to help fund their growth, with RBS forging a new partnership with Funding Circle and other peer-to-peer lenders that will see the bank refer applicants that it feels unable to fund.