As part of Lloyds Banking Group’s national pledge to lend up to £18 billion* to UK businesses in 2020, the Group expects to support firms in the Midlands with up to £2.5 billion of lending this year, highlighting its commitment to be by the side of British business whatever the future brings.
The funding is available to firms across the Midlands and will support entrepreneurs looking to start a new business, micro-businesses seeking to scale-up and small businesses considering trading internationally for the first time. It will also support established mid-sized businesses and large, multinational corporations seeking further growth.
This new lending commitment for 2020 follows on from the Group’s pledge in 2019, also for £18 billion lent nationally and £2.5 billion available to the region’s firms. Despite the continuing challenging economic environment, the Group is not lessening its backing for British businesses and is on hand to support their growth aspirations.
Part of that money saw Lloyds Bank support the UK’s only wheelbarrow manufacturer, The Walsall Wheelbarrow Company, to more than double its capacity with the help of a £450,000 hire purchase facility last year. The business, which began manufacturing wheelbarrows in the 1940s, bought a new powder painting machinery to help it meet growing demand without impacting cashflow.
Jo Harris, Lloyds Banking Group Ambassador for the Midlands, said: “Many Midlands businesses are thriving, with plenty of exciting opportunities in the pipeline too. Continued investment in the Midlands Engine, and regeneration projects underway across the region, are just two things that will help to drive business growth this year.
“We anticipate lending up to £2.5 billion to Midlands firms in 2020, as they take advantage of the prospects ahead.”
During 2019, as well as supporting British businesses’ growth aspirations, the Group assisted its customers in becoming more sustainable**. The Group is on course to meet its ambitions to support existing and new customers with energy efficiency improvements for a further one million square feet of commercial real estate as well as delivering renewable energy projects capable of powering 3.5 million homes by 2020.
To support customers on their sustainability journey, over 450 relationship managers have undertaken intensive training on climate change and sustainability-related risks and opportunities in collaboration with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainable Leadership. We are putting sustainability at the heart of our relationship teams’ support for businesses.
António Horta Osório, Chief Executive of Lloyds Banking Group, said: “In 2020, our commitment to supporting businesses is undiminished and we will lend up to £18 billion to businesses across the UK. We know that during uncertain times our customers look to us not just for financial support but also for expert guidance to navigate the challenges they may face. Whatever the future brings, we will continue to support UK businesses as part of our commitment to help Britain prosper.”