The SME Finance Charter
We are a proud signatory of The SME Finance Charter, designed by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to support UK SMEs through Brexit.
By pledging to the Charter, we are committed to adhering to the following principles which have been identified as key factors in providing SMEs with the access to finance and support that they need to grow.
We’re open for business and ready to lend.
As a Community Development Finance Institution (CDFI), we’re passionate about supporting viable SMEs who can’t access the finance they need from their bank. In 2021/22, we supported 502 businesses with £10.8m and are seeking to do more in 2022/23.
We are committed to responsible lending, putting the interests of our customers first and supporting the UK’s economy.
We’ll help you build back better after Covid-19.
We have supported 94 SMEs with finance worth £8.8m through the Government-guaranteed Covid business loan schemes between April 2000 and May 2022.
By taking a relationship- based approach to lending, we help SMEs to grow, create jobs and develop their local communities. We take time to get to know our clients, understand their needs and provide ongoing support after a loan is provided.
We’ll support your application and signpost other options if needed.
We clearly explain what information is required for us to assess a loan application, and the key terms of finance. If your application is declined, we will explain the reasons for the decision and the options that may be open to you.
We’ll treat you fairly at all times.
We’re committed to providing the best level of customer service possible and meeting the FCA’s Principles including Treating Customers Fairly. We’ll only lend if, in our assessment, it is in the best interest of our customers. Through our relationship- based approach, we aim to work with customers to agree mutually agreeable solutions in times of difficulty.
We’ll work with the government-owned British Business Bank (BBB) to support SMEs.
We work closely with the British Business Bank to help make finance markets work better for SMEs. As a lender, we will signpost to the BBB’s Finance Hub and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales’ Business Finance Guide, which offer information on finance options.