Banks to improve relations with customers

Posted on 6 Apr 2011 by The Manufacturer

The major UK banks have started to deliver on their October Business Finance Taskforce commitments to improve relationships with businesses.

They pledged adherence to a new Lending Code for micro-businesses, lending principles for larger SMEs, and a monitoring and appeals process for declined loan requests. These are part of the Better Business Finance campaign launched by the banks yesterday.

Commenting, EEF chief executive Terry Scuoler said: “Better customer services from banks means a major improvement in communication. The new Lending Code and lending principles show genuine intent from the UK’s major banks in addressing the fraught relations with business.

“Better customer service also potentially means greater transparency on when and why conditions are attached to loans, additional costs around loans, and covenants borrowers can expect to face.”

Scuoler added that banks and the government need to make sure these new measures actually improve relationships with customers.

EEF previously recommended genuinely independent monitoring of adherence to the Code and principles would give businesses more confidence that they would lift service standards.

Further areas could be included in the Code and principles, such as greater transparency on when certain conditions are likely to be attached to loans or what sort of covenants borrowers can expect to face. These options should be considered if further action is needed.