SME Finance Charter

Our pledge to support businesses through Brexit.

We’re pleased to confirm our commitment to UK SMEs by signing up to the SME Finance Charter, which lists five pledges for lenders to commit to in order to continue to support SMEs. We have defined below our commitment to meet these pledges and to continue to provide the right funding support for businesses through our specialist solution offerings.

The Charter consists of 5 commitments that provide a framework for finance providers to set out their specific undertaking to SMEs:

  1. We’re open for business and ready to lend.
  2. We’ll help you prepare for Brexit and beyond.
  3. We’ll support your application and signpost other options if needed.
  4. We’ll treat you fairly at all times.
  5. We’ll work with the government-owned British Business Bank to support SMEs.

These high-level commitments have been signed off by the Business Finance Council, a collaboration between finance providers, business organisations and government.

They reflect the areas that government, finance providers and businesses have identified as being significant in ensuring that the SME finance market works effectively.

 

ULTIMATE FINANCE PLEDGES:

We’re open for business and ready to lend

  • We are committed to supporting and facilitating your growth ambitions in all market conditions and we tailor our funding to best suit your business’ needs and asset profile, looking at the bigger picture to find the right solution at the right time
  • We are a specialist asset-based lender with a 20-year track record of supporting businesses like yours with funding solutions such as Working Capital Finance (Invoice, Trade and Construction), Asset Finance and Bridging Finance on applications of up to £5m
  • During 2018 we provided over £1.4bn of funding to over 2,500 SMEs and are on course to exceed this during 2019 – our dedication to supporting SMEs is unwavering
  • Our commitment is to support our existing clients in good and bad times and to support businesses that we do not yet have an active relationship with

We’ll help you prepare for Brexit and beyond

  • Our proprietary research earlier this year found that 77% of SMEs are concerned about the resilience of the UK economy, with Brexit cited as the biggest barrier to economic resilience
  • At the core of any successful business is resilience (financial, emotional and overall wellbeing) and on the back of this research, we launched our Resilience campaign, a series of speaking engagements and an online hub of resources providing tools, information and support to help SMEs like you prepare for the different challenges or opportunities you may be facing
  • We take our role as a funding partner to businesses very seriously and our day-to-day interactions with hundreds of SMEs gives us insight into the real issues facing businesses, allowing us to adapt the support we can provide you
  • Whatever happens to the UK economy and the terms of our departure from the EU, it’s certain that the country needs SMEs to continue to be as ambitious, flexible and resilient as before, and with the right funding and non-financial support that we will continue to provide, we have no doubt that businesses like yours will rise to this

We’ll support your application and signpost other options if needed

  • Our funding can support you in a wide variety of scenarios including working capital pressures, refinancing, asset or property purchases, businesses seeking acquisitions, turnaround situations, and retirement planning
  • We are focused on enhancing our processes through the use of technology and smarter working practices to improve decision making times and accuracy of in-principle decisions, including through data extraction and Open Banking to ensure that we can support as many eligible businesses as possible
  • Our information requests are clearly detailed in our simple application forms and depend on the type of facility but broadly cover counterparty risk information, management financial information and asset security details
  • With a clear proposition centred exclusively on our three verticals of Working Capital Finance, Asset Finance and Bridging Finance, we seek to plug gaps in our offering by partnering with complementary lenders and various government designated finance platforms for the Bank Referral Scheme, aimed at helping you find the right funder if we are unable to help directly

We’ll treat you fairly at all times

  • We are a proud member of UK Finance and have signed up to The Standards Framework and The IFABL Code for best practice on managing relationships with customers and handling complaints
  • However, for us this is just the foundation and our daily approach reflects our values as a business – Decency, Enterprise and Brilliance – and we do our utmost to provide each customer with service that is unfailingly fair, swift and courteous, seeking to differentiate ourselves in the market by the customer experience we provide
  • Decency as a core value governs our transparent, collaborative and supportive customer approach, but should you believe we have failed in this regard we have a formal complaint policy that commits to quick investigations of any complaints received, with details of how to escalate any unresolved disputes
  • Being part of Tavistock, a large global investment group that takes pride in its reputation, we take a long-term approach to business and to doing the right thing for all customers

We’ll work with the government-owned British Business Bank (BBB) to support SMEs

  • We have worked in close partnership with the British Business Bank since 2015 under their remit of increasing the supply of funding to SMEs and aiding the understanding of the funding options available to you beyond traditional lenders
  • The BBB play an important role in our overall funding structure that enables us to continue to grow our overall lending book across the country, in line with their national focus
  • We also commit to further highlighting the role that the BBB play in offering information on traditional and alternative finance options through its Finance Hub and Business Finance Guide

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