Banks’ top tips for business loans

The Better Business Finance Campaign members include Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds TSB, Royal Bank of Scotland and Santander. Under the campaign, the ‘big’ banks are offering advice to small to medium enterprises (SMEs) to help them get business loans, as reported on thisismoney.co.uk.

High street banks have a target to lend £76 billion to SMEs by the end of this year. However, figures from the British Bankers’ Association show that nearly 30% of loan applications from small businesses are turned down.

The advice from banks includes the following:

• Spend time developing a strong business plan, including the business’ financial position and its ability to repay what it borrows.

• Research competitors and the market and have a clear idea of when it’s expected the business will make money.

• Prove that the business is able to manage and maintain a loan and give a clear indication of what the money will be spent on.

• Work with a business mentor.

• Be aware of the business’ credit rating and challenge any inaccuracies.

• Do not underestimate how much the business needs to borrow – don’t overestimate revenues or underestimate costs.

• A loan refusal can still ‘open a dialogue’ with a bank – adapting the business plan might mean a loan application is accepted in the future.

The chief executive of the BBA, Angela Knight commented: “We are committed to ensuring that viable businesses get access to the funding they need.”