Personal letter from António Horta-Osório to the Group’s small business customers stating the bank is ready to lend…..

Pledge to lend £5 billion to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in 2013 under Funding for Lending scheme Reaffirmation of commitments to grow lending to SMEs and support start ups

Lloyds Banking Group’s CEO, António Horta-Osório has written to the Group’s one million SME customers to reaffirm the Group’s commitment to the sector. This follows a similar letter to small businesses last year – and comes as the Group records a rise in SME net lending growth of 7% over the last two years, against a market decline of 8%.

António Horta-Osório said: “Small and medium sized businesses are the bedrock of the UK economy and I am determined to give them all the support they need. This reassurance is critical if we are to help rekindle confidence and spur economic growth and that is why I want to give my personal commitment to supporting the sector through the letter I have sent today.”

Lloyds Banking Group has made a commitment to lend £5 billion to SMEs under the Funding for Lending Scheme in 2013 and that all the Group’s SME customers will benefit from a full 1% discount on their interest rates for the life of their loans, under the scheme, regardless of the sector in which they operate. The letter makes it clear that the Group will continue to grow its lending to SMEs on a net basis throughout 2013.

The letter also makes it clear that the Group is committed to helping 100,000 start-ups get off the ground this year – one of the main pledges in its 2013 SME Charter published at the beginning of the year.

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