Shawbrook Bank recognises need for SME finance

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A survey by Shawbrook Bank, a new specialist savings and lending bank who opened today, has revealed that 89% of small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) in the UK believe the country’s banks fail to use common sense when they make decisions about business loan applications. 45% of the 800 SMEs questioned in the survey feel banks are too bureaucratic when dealing with small businesses.

This will be no surprise to readers of TameBay, online businesses have been struggling to obtain finance for years and eBay’s research has shown one in three SMEs have been unable to access new finance.

Owen Woodley, CEO of Shawbrook Bank agrees saying “Having access to the right finance at the right time is vital for an expanding small business – and so is having a straightforward and efficient lending process. It’s all very well for a bank to say the money for SMEs is there to lend, but if the process is bureaucratic and inflexible it means nothing but lost opportunities and slowed growth.”

In the short term it’s unlike that Shawbrook Bank will be able to assist most online retailers – their £50,000 to £1m-plus SME loans are aimed at those able to secure them on their commercial property – They’re more suited for companies in for example manufacturing looking to invest in new capital equipment. However it’s refreshing to hear from a bank who are focussing on SMEs with a target of lending £250m in 2012 to small businesses.

The more banks who start to cater for SME businesses the more likely it is that banks will start to building finance products suitable for online retailers. Shawbrook Bank are probably ruled out for the moment as most online retailers won’t own their commercial property, but at least they’re recognising that banks are failing to make it easy for them to borrow, despite continued calls for banks to lend more freely to small businesses to help them grow.

2 Responses

  1. Having had experience of bank lending myself, they are lending to viable businesses. Its actually easy to get bank finance, providing you are willing to put up your house as security. If anybody does need some funding, and their business on paper is profitable and requires capital to grow – speak to commercial banking division @ LLoyds Reading (Market PLace). If you need a contact, email me and I am happy to pass details: [email protected]

  2. forgot to add Shawbrook is financed by RBS – the very bank that the media constantly say don’t lend enough to SMEs! How funny the world of finace is!


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