Clearview South August 2013 - Issue 141 - Page 71

BUSINESS Review into untapped £20bn RBS have commissioned a review of its lending processes to SMEs as the bank identifies a £20bn pot of untapped cash in their coffers. Sir Andrew Large, former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England will lead the review with management consultant firm, Oliver Wyman. RBS CEO of UK Corporate Banking, Chris Sullivan, said: “We are the biggest lender to SMEs in the country, and have identified £20 billion in surplus deposits that we want to put to work to support the economy - but we constantly hear that businesses can’t get the finance they need. We have to bridge this gap. lending, to make sure we are making the right judgements, to challenge ourselves to get better and support even more businesses. “Demand for lending remains a challenge, but we want to do more than just wait for demand to materialise. We want to play our part in securing the recovery. If there are loans that we could and should be making, but are not, then that will change. If there are things we can do better – we will.” SMEs SHOULD ‘SHOP AROUND’ ‘it is the right time to have a fresh look at lending’ “With the economy now moving to recovery, it is the right time to have a fresh look at Meanwhile, a senior civil servant outlined progress made in readying the Government’s ‘Business Bank’ due to launch this Autumn. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ Andrew van de Lem is part of the team setting up the Bank and told businesses that it will work hard to redress long term structural problems in business finance markets. Addressing businesses at the Tees Valley Business Summit recently, he said the purpose of the Bank was to create additional lending, not to replace existing schemes. He suggested SMEs should “shop around” for finance and be prepared to switch bank as this would encourage more competition in the sector. He said: “The Business Bank will try to solve some of the problems in the business finance market. It will have a balance sheet of between £3-£4bn and, at least to start off, will be putting money into funds and through banks. It won’t be lending direct and so you won’t see a business bank on every street corner, but hopefully most banks will offer some of its products. “We’ve started preparations - for instance we’ve got an investment programme that will put £300m to work - and hopefully in the Autumn we will be able to launch and we’ll see how those funds get through to businesses.” To read more, visit AUG 2013 71