Lloyds Banking Group unveiled plans today to help thousands more small and medium sized firms become ‘first time’ exporters and boost the UK economy.
As part of its 2016 SME Charter the bank said it would support 5,000 virgin exporters during 2016 and a total of 25,000 by 2020.
Lloyds said it would invest a total of £450million in digital technology and training to support its plans over the next three years with other key developments including a new International Trade Portal through with firms can learn how to identify opportunities and operate across the world.
There will also be a new Internet Banking portal for businesses wanting to export.
Gareth Oakley, managing director, SME Banking at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “The future success of the UK economy hinges on small businesses looking to overseas markets for growth. Through this new pledge, we want to support a new legion of UK exporters and ultimately to help the UK economy to prosper.”
Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Lord Price, added: “This government has committed to having 100,000 more UK companies exporting by 2020 and this pledge by Lloyds is a welcome contribution towards this target. By working together, we can make sure British businesses have the support they need to export their goods and services around the world and that the UK remains a great trading nation.”
The Lloyds Charter also revealed plans to increase net lending to small and medium sized firms by more than £1billion during 2016 and expand the range of managers across its business with the authority to approve loans.
It also vowed to respond faster to appeals on lending decisions, is piloting a new online banking platform called Commercial Banking Online and raise awareness amongst UK businesses of potential base interest rates movements and the possible impact on their operations.