Bank pledges to help businesses in 2013

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Lloyds Banking Group, which has branches in Spalding, Holbeach and Long Sutton, has launched a new charter setting out a series of pledges to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), including a commitment to keep growing its lending to the sector in 2013.

The new SME Charter builds on the promises to SMEs first set out by the group in 2010, with a focus on encouraging enterprise, providing access to finance, clearer and fairer pricing and supporting communities. The pledges are designed to support all small and medium sized businesses.

One of the main tenets of the new charter is a pledge to deliver positive net lending to SMEs throughout 2013, at a level ahead of the industry as a whole – a key part of the group’s wider commitment to help support the UK’s return to growth. Other pledges reaffirm the group’s backing for enterprise, for example through a commitment to get a further 100,000 businesses off the ground over the coming 12 months.

Pricing is also addressed, in recognition of the crucial role that clear and fair charges have in stimulating demand, with a key pledge not to charge arrangement fees of more than 1.5 per cent on loans and overdrafts, subject to a minimum scale charge of between £100 and £250.