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Santander steps up SME credit options

The traditional banks have not been seen in recent years as sources of SME credit but that might be starting to change

Since the Lehman Brothers hit the wall back in 2008 the feeling from most channel players and SME customers has been to avoid bothering with talking to the high street banks about credit.

The result of banks tightening their belts was to make most SMEs either 'non borrowers' or seek alternative forms of finance to support their growth ambitions.

There have been some exceptions, with Barclays one of those keen to court the channel, but the vast majority of established banks are not seen as the first port of call for those looking for finance.

Things might be changing though with Santander now launching an online working capital solution for SMES, with the promise of funding between £500 and £100,000 being approved in minutes and the funds being there to be accessed in a day.

“With SMEs comprising 99% of the UK private sector, having fast and secure access to funds would ensure they can continue to make an important contribution to the UK economy," said Nathan Bostock CEO of Santander UK.

The scheme is available online and will be made available over the next couple of months to a group of the bank's customers as a pilot project.

In the meantime the other sources of credit continue to reach out to the channel to support customer spending plans that would otherwise be delayed or sidelined because of a lack of funds.

Tech Data is working with HP Finance to provide a zero percent offer on LaserJet devices that is designed to encourage SMEs to invest in some new printer hardware.

Customers can pay over 36 months in monthly installments and can take the pain out of paying for kit that can come with a price tag of around £5,000, plus £2,300 in add-ons.

“We receive a lot of enquiries about managed print services on HP printers, but it is not suitable for most small companies. At the same time, these businesses often find it difficult to finance the purchase of a high-quality LaserJet. The HP Finance scheme will provide a simple answer to the dilemma, so we think it could be very popular indeed," said Mike Leary, print business development executive at Tech Data.

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