Banks promise to help business through bad times

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The UK’s leading banks are committed to helping Britain’s businesses to weather the economic downturn, the British Bankers’ Association will tell the first meeting of the Government’s Small Business Forum today.

At this afternoon’s meeting with business leaders, hosted by trade minister Lord Mandelson, the BBA will set out the 10 promises banks are making to their business customers.

The BBA will also explain the work already underway with business groups to review the BBA’s Statement of Principles for business banking and set out the changes made to the latest edition of the Business Banking Code, published in March this year.

BBA Chief Executive Angela Knight said the aim was to ensure everyone pulled together to build up the strength of businesses to help them fight their way through the current tough economic conditions.

Mrs Knight said: “The UK’s banks want to see their customers flourish even in these testing times. We are determined to help our customers make the most of their businesses and part of that is to ensure they have access to finance as well as independent advice and help when times are tough. Businesses with good ideas need to be reassured that banks are listening and are working actively with them. Armed with these promises, Britain’s entrepreneurs can confidently speak frankly with their banks about their needs and the challenges they face.”