Barclays has announced a £14bn* lending fund as part of a series of initiatives to help small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) to succeed and flourish through Brexit and beyond. Focused on building SME resilience during uncertain times, the package of support includes:
- A £14bn* dedicated lending fund for the businesses that are the lifeblood of the UK economy (turnover of £0-£25 million)
- More than 100 SME Brexit clinics and seminars being run in local communities across the country
- An established network of on-the-ground relationship management experts and industry specialists, based across the UK
These interventions are designed to help SMEs think about managing cash-flow and working capital, exporting goods abroad, labour, supply chain management, and broader issues of preparedness.
Launching the fund, Group CEO Jes Staley, said: “Barclays stands ready to help local businesses in towns, cities and rural communities, up and down the country, during this period of uncertainty. Today’s £14bn* fund, along with our broader package of support, shows our commitment to the local businesses that are the backbone of the UK economy – we are here to help them plan for the future and invest for growth.”
“It is the entrepreneurs, the farmers, the manufacturers, the house-builders, the new tech firms, and countless other businesses, that will help the country deal with – and capitalise on – this period of change. Barclays is here to help SMEs to do exactly that.”
Glynn Richards of AEG Teachwall Limited, a Merseyside-based SME that imports aluminium and specialist engineering parts from China, commented on the news. Mr Richards said: “Today’s commitment is reassuring for a business like ours. Despite some broader economic uncertainty, we’re keen to invest in new machinery in our main factory to keep on growing our business. With Barclays’ support on this front, I feel that we can invest with confidence, hire more people and hopefully expand across the North West and beyond."
Bob Long of WSBL Ltd, manufacturers of noise insulation materials for the building and automotive industries, based in Blackburn, commented: “It’s really important for WSBL to be ready to leverage new opportunities and markets, and as such we welcome this commitment from Barclays. They really understand our business, which provides real confidence for the future.”
More details on the lending fund, and Barclays’ broader range of support for SMEs can be found at https://www.barclays.co.uk/business-banking/.