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Metro Bank to lend £1bn to UK businesses in 2017

Metro Bank has signaled that it is open for business with £1bn of funds ring-fenced for lending in 2017.

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The funds will be available to both new and existing businesses, as well as commercial customers. The bank says it will take a case-by-case approach to lending, getting to know the customer, rather than just their balance sheet.

Borrowers are allocated a local business manager, who helps to make lending decisions, while larger businesses can access “expert guidance” from dedicated specialist sector teams.

Metro Bank reports it lent £551m to businesses in the first three-quarters of 2016, compared with £544m for the whole of 2015.

Last year the bank announced the launch of its tailored lending offering, which aims to provide SMEs with short-term funding, including Professional Indemnity Insurance funding, tax finance, IT finance, and asset finance.

It also initiated collaboration with LDF, the UK’s largest independent provider of SME finance solutions to deliver a dedicated line of funding to the UK’s professional services sector and it strengthened its invoice finance business with the appointment of Kevin Craven as head of invoice finance - a newly created role.

Mark Stokes, managing director of commercial banking at Metro Bank, commented: “Businesses are the very bedrock of the UK economy and it’s absolutely vital that lenders do what they can to support their growth.”

Ian Walters, managing director of business banking, continued: “By focussing on traditional relationship banking supported by state-of-the-art technology, we’re able to be a true banking partner for our customers. Our common sense approach to lending has enabled some really great companies to prosper, and we hope that today’s announcement will provide even more customers with the helping hand that they need to grow and succeed in 2017.”

Craig Hayward, the owner of restaurant Sweeney & Todd, said: “For us, it’s incredibly important that our bank really takes the time to understand our business, our model, and our plans, with Metro Bank they’ve been a real banking partner in the truest sense of the word.”

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