Special report in association with
Santander and SMEs: good practice in the banking sector The relationship between banks and their small and medium-sized business customers has been the focus of much attention in recent years. Total Politics and Santander examine the reality behind the issue in this special six page section.
Santander is one of the fastest growing banks in the UK. But it is a bank that wants to grow by listening to its clients and customers – it descibes itself as “a relationship bank”. To increase its share in the business market, Santander is seeking to work closely with government and public-owned institutions to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) access vital sources of new finance.
The bank supports the UK government through its Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme but also partners with the European Investment Bank to drive the SME economy forward. Its banking history dates back over 150 years. And, today, Santander has 13,696 branches, more than any other international bank, and over 90 million customers worldwide.
This special section takes a look at what banks like Santander are doing to increase lending to small and medium-sized businesses in the UK. But it also examines how banks and enterprises can improve their working relationships. Santander held a breakfast meeting, attended by leading political figures, to examine what SMEs want from their banks. This roundtable presented an opportunity to listen and learn about the issues surrounding SMEs and banking, as well as to contribute thinking on particular areas such as the availability of credit and constructive ways of helping SMEs.
We also feature an interview with Santander board member Steve Pateman about what the bank is doing to grow its commercial arm. Pateman suggests that to be a successful bank in a difficult economic climate, focusing on the relationship with business clients is key. We study the latest survey from Santander that reveals a rise in multi-banking, where businesses are using more than one bank to spread risk. New research by Santander Corporate Banking suggests that the recession has caused over a third of small firms to spread their finances across several banks. Finally, we examine what the government is doing to ensure that SMEs are getting the support that they need to prosper, in an economy where small enterprises are the backbone of recovery.
December 2008 | Total Politics | 65
October 2010 | Total Politics | 65