Barclays announces £14bn lending package for SMEs

Barclays is lending £14bn over three years to help small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) excel and prosper through Brexit and beyond.

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The package of support also includes over 100 SME Brexit clinics and seminars being run in local communities across the country; and an established network of on-the-ground relationship management experts and industry specialists, based across the UK.

In a statement, Barclays said the initiatives 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.

Jes Staley, group CEO at Barclays, 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.

“It is the entrepreneurs…the manufacturers…the new tech firms, and countless other businesses, that will help the country deal with – and capitalise on – this period of change.”

Glynn Richards of AEG Teachwall, which imports aluminium and specialist engineering parts from China, said: “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.”

The £14.7bn UK-wide fund is made up of £11.3bn from Barclays Bank UK PLC and £3.4bn from Barclays Bank PLC.

The banking group said the fund is intended for SMEs at several stages of growth and development and includes a range of business lending services that include business loans, commercial mortgages and overdrafts.

Further assistance includes cash flow funding for investment in growth, management buy-outs and business acquisition; loans for innovative businesses looking for growth funding, capital and environmental investment; and help to maximise government schemes like The Enterprise Finance Guarantee programme.