Lloyds launches £500mn fund to support businesses

By Johan De Mulder

Lloyds Bank's commercial arm has created a £500mn fund to help businesses with productivity and technology.

The British finance group has set aside the pot of cash to assist small and medium-sized companies in high-maintenance sectors, such as those involving machinery and automation.

Compared to its peers in the G7, the United Kingdom has a low level of productivity in such sectors and Ben Stephenson, managing director SME at Lloyds Bank Global Transaction Banking, believes its important for SMEs to keep up.

"The pace of technological change is constantly challenging important UK sectors to invest in growth to remain competitive," he said.

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"This fund will enable more and more businesses to benefit from the flexibility of asset finance, which can be used to support firms’ needs throughout the economic cycle, whether that’s investing in growth or boosting efficiency."

Asset finance allows companies to pay for expensive but essential equipment over a long-term period, rather than in one sizeable up-front sum.

According to a recent survey by American Express, 57 percent of UK respondents said they struggled to access the finance needed to grow their business.

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