Barclays launches £100m SME support fund

CBI chairman David Gavaghan, right, is joined Adrian Doran from sponsor Barclays, left, and  keynote speaker John Holland-Kaye, CEO, Heathrow Plc

CBI chairman David Gavaghan, right, is joined Adrian Doran from sponsor Barclays, left, and keynote speaker John Holland-Kaye, CEO, Heathrow Plc

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A £100 million fund aimed at supporting growth among the province’s small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) has been announced by Barclays.

Applications to the fund are open to local businesses with a turnover of less than £25m.

“This is the first time we have launched a loan fund specifically for SMEs in Northern Ireland, and is evidence of our commitment to growing our customer base,” said Adrian Doran, head of corporate banking for Barclays NI.

“SMEs are the driving force of our local economy.

“We believe we are really well equipped to help local SMEs grow their businesses.”

He said Barclays had a long history of banking many of Northern Ireland’s largest companies coupled with the experience of being a major player in the SME banking market across the UK.

“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.”

The announcement came at the CBI annual dinner atthe Waterfront Hall which was attended by First Minister Arlene Foster.

Welcoming the commitment she said small and medium sized businesses represented “the lifeblood of the Northern Ireland economy.”

“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.”