Lloyds Aims to Speed up SME Loan Appeals
Lloyds pledge to reduce turnaround times for SME lending appeals.
As part of its attempt to improve its service to customers, Lloyds has pledged to review 90% of lending appeals within 15 days – twice as fast as the standard industry commitment time.
In a statement, the group said that their intention to reduce turnaround times on appeals is part of their “broader drive to ensure it is doing everything possible to lend to UK businesses.”
The Business Finance Taskforce was recently launched, which set industry rules for banks and standards on issues such as customer appeals, requiring banks to respond to appeals within 30 days.
Lloyds, which lent ┬ú3.3bn to SMEs in the first quarter of 2011, have not only pledged to cut this down to 15 days but are also reportedly hoping to go beyond this promise and reduce waiting times further.
John Maltby, Managing Director for the Commercial division of Lloyds Banking Group, commented that the UK’s chance of economic recovery is hinged “on the fate of SMEs”.
He said: “We are actively lending to small businesses and we are doing everything possible to stimulate demand for finance and to provide signposting to alternative sources of funding. And through this new appeals pledge we want to give every customer confidence that they will get a fair hearing.
“We will be looking at lending decisions with a fresh pair of eyes, and we will do everything possible to help customers identify sources of finance, even where our original decisions are upheld.”
However, in light of news that Lloyds is planning to cut another 15,000 jobs by 2014, it remains to be seen whether these new targets can be successfully met.