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The SME Finance Charter

Our commitment to you and the future of your business

The SME Finance Charter is a voluntary commitment by financial providers to small and medium-sized businesses in the UK.

The Charter’s five principles reflect the areas identified as being significant in making sure the SME finance market works effectively. This framework will help you assess what the Charter means for you as a business in practical terms. The Charter is overseen by the Business Finance Council1, a collaboration between finance providers, business organisations and the government. Here’s our commitment to its five principles.

We’ll help you prepare for Brexit and beyond

We’re helping SMEs navigate Brexit and what lies ahead, with a support pack that includes over 100 Brexit clinics and seminars that we’re running in local communities across the UK.

Our dedicated Brexit hub also has online tools, guidance and checklists to help SMEs prepare.

We have a network of over 1,000 relationship managers and industry experts, too – all working proactively with businesses across the UK to help with planning and resilience.

We’re open for business and ready to lend

In March 2019, we announced a £14bn dedicated lending fund2 to support SMEs through Brexit and beyond. You’re eligible to apply if your business has a turnover of up to £25m.

As part of this support package, we’ve dedicated funds for regional growth, including a £500m growth fund for SMEs across the north of England, a £370m Midlands Growth Fund and a £200m Agriculture Fund.

We’ll support your application and signpost other options if needed

At Barclays UK, we offer pre-assessed lending limits to hundreds of thousands of our SME customers – available in the Barclays app, Online Banking or through your relationship contact point – giving the confidence that extra funds are available when they’re needed.

If we decline your lending application and you’re not satisfied with our reasons, or if we offer you terms you’re not happy with, you can appeal to us. We have a fair appeals process for all of our customers.

We’ll offer you the opportunity for a referral to a finance platform if we’re unable to support your loan application, which might be able to help you find a lender more suited to your financial needs.

We'll treat you fairly at all times

Barclays UK is a signatory on the Standards of Lending Practice for Business Customers voluntary code. This sets high standards for good lending practice and provides principles for treating customers in the right way.

If you find yourself in financial difficulty, we have specialist teams on-hand to support you and help you get back into good financial health.

We encourage you to let us know if you’re unhappy with any aspect of our service. If we can’t resolve a complaint to your satisfaction, you can refer it to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

We’ll work with the government-owned British Business Bank to support SMEs

We work closely with the British Business Bank on a number of support schemes, including the Enterprise Finance Guarantee. This helps us increase our lending to viable businesses that have inadequate security.

Related information

Preparing for Brexit

Planning for when the UK leaves the EU

We’ve collected information that could help you plan for our exit from the EU, to ease the uncertainty that comes with it.