10/11/2011

£95M Bank Fund For Business

Hundreds of small businesses will be given £95 million as part of a bank fund to "boost growth" and "rebalance the economy", the Prime Minister said today.

David Cameron said the funding was expected to create 4,000 jobs and "unlock" around £500 million of new investment by small and medium businesses (SMEs).

According to Mr Cameron's announcement, RBS, NatWest and HSBC have agreed to facilitate the distribution of the £95 million - which is part of the government’s Regional Growth Fund. RBS and NatWest will facilitate £70 million and HSBC will facilitate £25 million.

The banks will not profit financially from the administration of these schemes.

Business Minister Mark Prisk said: “These schemes will directly help SMEs that want to invest and create new jobs. They will deliver a shot in the arm to local communities and help small businesses drive local growth.

“100% of the RGF funding will be provided as grants to small businesses with the banks employing their regional networks to administer the schemes for free.”

Meanwhile, Peter Ibbetson, Small Business Chair at NatWest and RBS said: “We have experienced managers in all the communities this fund is aimed at, we are also the leading bank for asset finance - nobody is better placed to ensure the £70 million we’ve been allocated goes to where it’s needed most.”

During his announcement, Mr Cameron said that through such schemes, small businesses that are unable to secure commercial funding for their project have the potential to benefit from government support through the banks’ regional networks.

The schemes announced today will provide grants to support SMEs considering investing in new capital assets and creating new employment.

Jacques-Emmanuel Blanchet, Head of Commercial Banking, HSBC UK said: “I am delighted that the bank is participating in the Government’s Regional Growth Fund.”

“HSBC is committed to supporting strong viable businesses and our Assisted Asset Purchase Scheme highlights this. The scheme will provide critical support for businesses that are looking to grow and recruit, enabling them to purchase the assets they need, to achieve their goals.”

(DW)

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