The latest figures for Lloyds Banking Group, which includes Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland, show that the total amount of online lending to small businesses has doubled in the past two years*, as more businesses are making the move online to manage their banking.
The annual value of online lending to small businesses (those with a turnover of less than £1m) is increasing at an even greater rate, with online lending to small business customers accounting for over 11% of all lending to this customer group.
The increase can be partially attributed to an increasing demand for online services. In May 2014, a little over five in ten (55%) small business customers managed their accounts online, with this increasing to approximately seven in ten (69%) – or almost 375,000 customers – by May 2016. This increase of 35% in small business customers actively using their internet banking service over this two year period has seen customers making over 1 million external payments and over 1.4 million internal transfers.
Recently, Lloyds Bank and Bank of Scotland small business customers have benefited from an improved design for the banks’ online services. The bank enhanced the service to make it even easier for customers to use, complete with a simplified layout and quick access to the most commonly used services and features on the site. The site has been optimised for touch screen devices.
Online processes have been simplified to make it even easier for the small businesses needing to acquire capital to borrow the money they need. Customers can now benefit from an improved experience accessing loans and overdrafts using the secure and public sites.
Nick Williams, Lloyds Banking Group Consumer Digital Director, says: “One of the ways we’re investing in our small business customers is by delivering improvements to their online experience – enhancing their internet banking service and making it even easier to use. It puts them in a great position to build their businesses.”
Jo Harris, Managing Director, Retail Business Banking, Lloyds Banking Group, says the bank is fulfilling its pledge to support small businesses, who are a crucial part of the economy: “The increase in online lending demonstrates how the needs of our small business customers are changing. We know time is money for business owners, and often there aren’t enough hours in the day. By simplifying our online banking service, they can spend more time running their business and less time doing their banking.”