Bank pledges to help SMEs get on the export ladder

Steve Elsom, Lloyds Bank

Steve Elsom, Lloyds Bank - Credit: Archant

Lloyds Banking Group has announced a new drive to help thousands of UK businesses become first-time exporters, as part of an effort to help support the growth of small and medium-sized firms, and to help reverse the country's widening trade deficit.

The group, which has increased net lending to SMEs by 25pc since 2011, said its new export pledge will see it support 5,000 first time exporters during 2016, and a total of 25,000 by 2020 – a target which will help contribute towards the government's goal of helping 100,000 businesses start trading overseas by the end of the decade, as part of its Exporting is GREAT campaign.

The new commitment is part of the group's 2016 SME Charter, which also includes pledges to continue increasing lending to small businesses, help a new generation of start-up businesses, and support small firms on their next phase of growth.

Steve Elsom, regional director for Lloyds Bank SME Banking in the East of England, said the future success of the UK economy hinged on small businesses looking to overseas markets for growth.

'Through this new pledge, we want to support a new legion of UK exporters, and ultimately to help the UK economy to prosper,' he said.