North West banks ‘open for business’, says Broomhead

Businesses with the right pedigree should have no problem accessing funding in the region, contrary to popular perception, according to Steven Broomhead, chief executive of the North West Development Agency.

Broomhead hosted a second meeting with senior regional representatives from the major banks operating in the region today. The first meeting was held in December. All the banks in attendance asked not to be identified.

He said: "We are strongly working together to improve lending rates at fair prices. We are planning for recovery; we are concentrating on the 'R' for recovery not the 'R' for recession. We are looking at any gaps which need filling and what policy might require attention. Today the banks highlighted the issue of credit insurance with us so we are going to raise this issue with government to see what can be done to help in this area.

"The meeting this week was very positive and encouraging. We have already started to see product sharing taking place since the December meeting as the banks are now referring some business to Business Link Northwest and vice-versa.

"We are working strongly in the North West to plan for the future and it is becoming clearer now that credible businesses can get help from the banks, if they go and ask for it, and the banks are certainly open for business in the North West."

Broomhead said he hoped to hold regular meetings with bankers to review the current state of the economy and progress on supporting businesses.

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If the meeting was so successful why are banks still not lending in these opportunistic times? How myopic.

By Christopher Hughes