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UK Finance represents the Commercial banking services sector in the UK. The sector provides essential day-to-day services to small and medium sized enterprises, corporates, and non-personal entities covering current accounts, lending, deposit-taking and other business banking products and services including international trade. All lending products fall with Commercial with the exception of Invoice Finance and Asset-Based Lending (IF/ABL) which has its own dedicated membership stream. Commercial services and products help businesses start, thrive and grow, ranging from sole traders focused on their home market to large corporates trading internationally.
The Sector serves 5.6 million private sector businesses in the UK, 6.5% fewer than in 2020 of which over 99% are Small or Medium Sized businesses. Commercial lending mostly sits outside the regulatory perimeter; but many providers of business lending and banking facilities are signed up to the Lending Standard Board’s Standards of Lending Practice for business customers. The Standards are recognised by the FCA.
The sector lending stock was around £209 billion in 2021, gross lending (excluding overdrafts) to SMEs by all UK banks in 2021 was £57.7bn over the year. The sector is comprised of over 150 providers, including the large UK and international commercial and corporate banks, specialist, mid-tier and challenger banks, as well as a range of non-bank specialist finance providers.
Loans and overdrafts are the most popular forms of lending products, although extensive use is also made of leasing, hire purchase, invoice finance and cards.
Work for members and their clients
Commercial sector providers operate in a strongly competitive market, facing new and challenging environment, risks and regulations. The Commercial team supports members by providing policy and market expertise.
In addition to representing the sector through a single voice to advocate, influence and engage on behalf of members and their clients with policy-makers, politicians and stakeholders, UK Finance also supports members and stakeholders through the provision of an extensive programme of specialist Training and Education. This includes both online and face-to-face training, webinars and day courses, as well as formal qualifications. This programme is available to both members and non-members.