Barclays announces ‘instant loans’ scheme for small business customers

Qualifying companies will be pre-approved for overdrafts and finance facilities

High-street bank Barclays has announced a new ‘instant loans’ scheme for small businesses, designed to help manage cashflow issues by approving access to finance immediately.

From mid-October, qualifying businesses who call Barclays about new lending will be approved immediately, with in-store customer relationship managers given the power to offer the service from November.

In addition, businesses using online banking will be able to view how much money they have been ‘pre-approved’ to borrow on their online account page by early next year.

Barclays has said around 63% of its small business customers will qualify for its service, which requires a turnover of more than £10,000.

It is designed to give businesses the flexibility they need to address urgent cashflow issues, which Barclays says are recognised as one of the primary reasons behind the collapse of many UK small businesses.

Ashok Vashwani, chief executive of Barclays Business Banking, said: “We know that cashflow can be a big problem for growing businesses and one of the biggest headaches is winning a big pitch or order, but having no certainty on whether you can finance that growth.

“With this new initiative our business customers will know that at the moment they need to borrow, the investment is there to support them.

“We recognise that not every small business wants debt or to increase the existing facilities. We want to lend the right type of finance, whether that’s an extended overdraft, long term finance, or looking at wider forms of equity funding. Overall we think instant lending can deliver a huge shot in the arm for SME’s across the country and for our economy too.”


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