Latest figures from the Lloyds Baking Group show there has been a significant rise in online lending to small businesses.
SME Online Lending
In a press release, the banking group said their figures show that their online lending to small businesses has doubled in over the last two years.
Meanwhile, the annual amount lent to small businesses with a turnover of less than £1m has increased at an even greater rate, with online lending to small business customers accounting for over 11% of all lending to this customer group.
Jo Harris, Managing Director, Retail Business Banking, Lloyds Banking Group, says the bank is fulfilling its pledge to support small businesses, which are so vital to the UK economy.
“The increase in online lending demonstrates how the needs of our small business customers are changing. We know time is money for business owners, and often there aren’t enough hours in the day. By simplifying our online banking service, they can spend more time running their business and less time doing their banking.”
Improved Digital Services
The Group has also seen a sharp rise in SMEs choosing to do their banking online. In May 2014, just over half of their small business customers (55%) managed their accounts online, but by May this year, that figure had risen to 69% (nearly 375,000 customers). This represents a 35% increase in small business customers actively using their internet banking service over the last two years. In that period, SMEs made over 1 million external payments and 1.4 million internal transfers.
These changes to their online service have included a simplified layout and quicker access to the most popular services and features on the website. Nick Williams, Lloyds Banking Group Consumer Digital Director, says that delivering improvements to the online business banking experience is one of the ways in which the Group is investing in SMEs.
The bank has also optimised their online services for touch screen devices and made it easier for SMEs to access overdrafts and loans online, “enhancing their internet banking service and making it even easier to use,” says Nick Williams. “It puts them in a great position to build their businesses.”