SANTANDER Corporate & Commercial Banking says support from the Government’s Funding for Lending initiative has helped it increase lending to small and medium-sized firms in the Anglia region by 10% over the past year.

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In total, SMEs in the region received £86million of new funding from the bank during the year to the end of September.

Santander says its drive to increase lending is part of a continued expansion of its Corporate, Commercial and Business banking divisions to provide an alternative to the current main four high street lenders.

Santander accessed the first tranche of £1billion, out of the £9.4bn it is eligible for, from the Funding for Lending scheme in July this year, enabling it to continue its drive to increase lending to smaller firms and, by helping to free up capital markets, reduce rates across its range of business banking products.

In addition to increasing lending, Santander opened a new corporate business centre in Cambridge and expanded its centres in Norwich and Chelmsford as part of a £7million investment programme to help expand its presence across the UK. It has also taken on 10 new staff including relationship directors and product specialists.

Martyn Dawson, regional director for Santander Corporate Banking, said: “We are delighted to have been able to support even more businesses in Anglia this year, particularly smaller businesses which are so vital for economic recovery and growth.

“There are some fantastic businesses in our region and we are proud to be providing not only funding but, more importantly, a committed long-term banking partnership to more of our local strong and growing companies.”

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