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The SME Finance Charter sets out five pledges by UK banks and finance providers to support their small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) through every challenge they face. On Monday 9 May at 12pm the Charter was relaunched with an updated list of pledges and commitment to supporting businesses and customers.
The Charter was initially launched in October 2019 to signal support for SMEs to manage the impact of Brexit. However, given the many other challenges SMEs have faced since then such as Covid-19, supply chain disruption and escalating input costs, finance providers have worked together to refresh the Charter.
The Secretary of State for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Kwasi Kwarteng, has approved this revised Charter. The government’s Business Finance Council, which includes representatives of business trade associations, has also endorsed it.
The Charter continues to set out five pledges. These are that banks and finance providers:
• are open for business and ready to lend
• will help them build back better after Covid-19
• will support their application and signpost other options if needed
• will treat them fairly at all times
• will work with the government-owned British Business Bank (BBB) to support SMEs.
Each signatory to the Code also sets out their own detailed commitments about how they will deliver against the pledges. Examples of this include providing tailored advice, free on-line learning and events, mentoring schemes and the provision of regionally based relationship managers. These commitments are displayed on their own websites next to the Charter.
You can find the Charter here together with a the list of signatories. For more support and advice for SMEs, visit our Let’s Talk Business microsite on the UK Finance website.
Jennifer Tankard, Principal, Invoice Finance and Commercial Finance, UK Finance