Smarta may be a tad biased considering this story involves one of our lovely sponsors, but we’re more than happy with today’s announcement that RBS are set to make £3bn available to small businesses.
The plans will put the money in the hands of the group’s regional branch managers, hopefully meaning businesses get their hands on money more quickly than if the process went through a central office. An end to 'computer says no'?
The move may allay some of the criticism the bank encountered after the government bailed it out for a second time earlier this month. But like we said, we're biased, so don't take our word for it.
Phil Orford, chief executive of the Forum of Private Business (FPB) reckons the news will make lending ‘quick and efficient’.
“Lending has dried up because of the tendency of UK banks to believe small businesses are risky propositions. The bank has moved to decentralise this lending so businesses are judged by bank managers who understand the local market and can develop relationships with them.”
And none other than secretary of state for business Lord Mandelson, who, let's face it, also has his motives for seeing this work, says: "I would like to see other lenders taking similar steps to ensure their frontline managers have access to funds dedicated to helping UK small businesses."
Bias to one side, any commitment of £3bn isn't to be sniffed at especially if it's directed straight to the hands of the people speaking to businesses everyday of the week. As Mandy says, now let's see if the other banks follow suit.