In a move that represents a radical shake-up in the lending market, over 60% of Barclays’ business customers in the UK will be immediately eligible for the new service which comes into effect for telephone enquiries from mid-October. In-branch approvals will be available from November and from early 2014, most business customers using online banking will be able to see how much they’ve been pre-approved to borrow and get a decision within minutes.
Ashok Vaswani, Chief Executive, Retail and Business Banking, said: “We know that cash-flow can be a big problem for growing businesses and one of the biggest headaches is winning a big pitch or order, but having no certainty on whether you can finance that growth. With this new initiative our business customers will know that at the moment they need to borrow, the investment is there to support them.”
Mark Dobson owns the Learn for Less driving school and is one of the first Barclays Business customers to have benefitted from the new service. When Mark needed assistance to fund some advertising, he contacted Barclays to discuss his options for borrowing £1,000 in a safe and controlled way.
“To be honest, I couldn’t believe how quick and easy the process was”, he said.
“I called up my business manager and after literally a five-minute conversation with them they confirmed that I could have the loan. A form arrived in the post the very next day, which was simple and straightforward to complete, and having returned this the day after, the money then arrived in my account. From start to finish the process took just three days.”