Business

Barclays launch lending service following business growth research

Barclays new service allows mobile banking customers to access SME loans and overdrafts instantly. Picture by Yui Mok, PA Wire.
Andrew Madden

BANKING giant Barclays has launched a new lending service for businesses following research pointing towards the potential for substantial growth for Northern Ireland SMEs.

Research carried out by the bank found that there is the opportunity to create 1,500 extra jobs in small and medium enterprises in the north by 2021, providing the economy with a £600 million annual boost.

In response, Barclays has unveiled a new service for its mobile banking app which gives clients instant access to SME loans and overdrafts.

Their figures show that nearly two-thirds of businesses in the north would increase their profits if they secured the appropriate loan.

Adrian Doran, Northern Ireland head of corporate banking for Barclays, said the new service is the result of fast-growing technology.

"Our new pre-assessed lending gives customers the ability to see how much they could borrow on their mobile and we can get that money to them more quickly than ever so they can invest in and focus on running their businesses," he said.

"This is another example of new innovative technology we are launching which has significant benefits for Northern Ireland SMEs."

The research also found that one in five SMEs believe Brexit is impacting their funding requirements.

The most common reasons cited for this were: a need to start exporting to new non-EU markets, Brexit economic uncertainty and a need to replace current employees who are EU citizens.

But Mr Doran said the vote to leave the EU has not dampened Barclays’ lending outlook.

"We want to help SMEs in Northern Ireland be confident in their future business plans, including looking at new opportunities to export," he said.

"We are particularly determined to reach out to those businesses who believe lending will be more difficult next year to see where we can help."

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