Banks agree Principles with small business leaders


 A newly-revised Statement of Principles setting out how banks will support entrepreneurs through the downturn is published today by the British Bankers’ Association.
Text for the new edition was agreed on Wednesday by small business representatives and the Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. The new Statement of Principles is published today on the BBA website and the presses roll on a print edition next week for distribution to bank branches.
The Statement of Principles offers firm commitments to businesses in difficulty on how the banks will undertake to help them. It emphasises the importance of openness and early collaboration. A frank discussion of the likely effects of the downturn, together with a realistic business plan, is essential to securing early support from your bank to protect it through the downturn.
BBA chief executive Angela Knight writes in the foreword: “The Principles show that banks are committed to working with business customers to find ways of overcoming the difficulties they may face in changing markets and through the economic cycle. All businesses experience these challenges. The Principles also emphasise that if the owners and managers of the business take early advice and action, they can work with the bank to sort out difficulties.
“All our major banks have skilled specialists to deal with customers in difficulties. They will be involved in the small number of cases when, despite everyone’s efforts, a business is failing. The industry and its customers are well aware that good managers and responsible banks are beneficial to everyone concerned, directly benefiting most of the businesses that succeed, and also the wider community.”