Posted on Thursday 26 May 2016 by Ulster Business

Barclays launch 100m sme fund

Adrian Doran from Barclays

Barclays has announced a £100m fund aimed at small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) in Northern Ireland.

The bank has been lending to larger businesses here for over 20 years but its latest move to lend to firms with turnover of less than £25m a year is a change in direction.

It already lends to SMEs across the rest of the UK and said it will use that experience in targeting the driving force of the local economy, according to Adrian Doran, Head of Corporate Banking for Barclays Northern Ireland.

He announced the fund at the CBI Annual Dinner in Belfast Waterfront where the bank was the main sponsor.

“We believe we are really well equipped to help local SMEs grow their businesses. We have a long history of banking many of Northern Ireland’s largest companies, and in addition we have a huge amount of knowledge from being a major player in the SME banking market in the UK.

He said the bank’s technology would also be a plus.

“We have a tremendous digital platform, having been the first bank to launch innovations such as a mobile payment service, and pre-assessed lending limits. Our newly launched High Growth team also means that we can help the next generation of entrepreneurs. We want to be the bank of choice for anyone starting or growing their business.”

First Minister Arlene Foster  welcomed the move.

“The Northern Ireland Executive has always been encouraged by the banking sector’s expansion into the SME sector and I very much welcome this new £100million lending fund from Barclays which will support a significant number of local businesses.

“I give my assurance that the Northern Ireland Executive will continue to do all in its power to support small to medium sized businesses to thrive and grow.”

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