Barclays has announced a series of initiatives, collectively called Turning the Corner, which it says will help manufacturers through the downturn.
There will be practical guidance, workshops, industry discussions and networking events involved in the programme, broaching subjects including resources, supply chain management, foreign exchange and other finance and management. National and regional lectures, workshops and trade events will take place, featuring prominent industry figures like such as the Evening Standard’s financial editor, Anthony Hilton and business guru René Carayol.
David Marks, Barclays Commercial Bank managing director, said: “We are acutely aware of our responsibilities in the current environment and we remain committed to creating and maintaining a platform for our clients to succeed. Of course this means continuing to lend, which we are well placed to do as we remain well capitalised with a strong balance sheet. We are also working closely with the Government to support initiatives such as the EFG [Enterprise Finance Guarantee].
“But it also means adding value by providing practical guidance and information, and connecting businesses with like minded peers so they can share learning on how to adapt their businesses to the specific challenges of operating in a recession. By offering our clients specific financial solutions and highlighting options for building more efficient operations, we believe their businesses will be better positioned when the economy recovers.”
There have been many attempts to stimulate bank lending in recent weeks, including the Bank of England dropping interest rates to 0.5 per cent – the lowest they’ve ever been – and government electing to underwrite loans. Barclays’ commercial arm did actually increase its lending to businesses by 14 per cent last year though, to a total of £61.7bn.
Barclays pointed out that 76% of companies that it worked with on turn-around strategies last year were successfully restored to full health.
For details of the new programme, see barclayscommercial.com/turningthecorner.