CYBG PLC, owner of Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank, announces that in 2018 it provided over £2bn in lending support to the UK’s small and medium sized businesses (SMEs). This takes total lending to £4.05bn in the first two years of its three-year commitment to help fuel SME growth by lending small firms £6bn, putting it well on track to meet the target by the end of 2019.
The bank lent money to c7,000 SME businesses across the UK’s regions, with over 90% of SME lending focused on regions outside of London. The Bank’s lending commitments have been met or exceeded in all of the UK’s regions against combined targets set for 2017 and 2018:
• Funding in the Midlands increased to over £180m, 80% above the Bank’s £100m commitment for 2018 and making a two-year total of £321m, against a target of £200m.
• In Scotland, a total of £382m was lent, making a two-year total of £848m against a target of £800m.
• In Yorkshire, we provided £380m of funding to SMEs beating the target of £300m by 27%. The two-year lending total is £685m against a target of £600m.
• In the North West, lending in 2018 of £318m was ahead of our £300m target, with a two-year total of £618m against a target of £600m.
CYBG’s latest SME Health Check Index, released earlier this month pointed to grounds for optimism amongst UK SMEs, with the health of SMEs increasing by almost five points. This rise was driven by an increase in borrowing, with lending reaching its highest level since tracking of the Index began in 2014. There was also strong employment growth and positive net business formation, however decelerating GDP growth, partly driven by a slowdown in the global economy and increased household borrowing, fed into decreased SME confidence.
Commenting on the successful lending, Gavin Opperman, group customer banking director at CYBG, said: “I’m delighted we have exceeded the first two years of our commitment to lend SMEs £6bn across the UK over three years, with a further £2bn provided in 2018. As the UK’s leading SME challenger bank and a regional economic champion, I’m especially pleased we have surpassed our regional commitments in the Midlands, North of England and Scotland over 2017 and 2018. CYBG will continue to support the innovation, creativity and growth plans of the nation’s small and medium sized enterprises.”