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The prospective launch of a new bank which aims to provide funding for SMEs, looks like it will go ahead, as it is on the right path to have gained financial backing of around £100 million by the year end. The newly formed British Enterprise Bank has also made a statement claiming that the introduction of a competing bank to the market for SME lending wasn’t a concern.

The chairman of the rival bank, Shawcross is Sir George Mathewson, who previously chaired the Royal Bank of Scotland. According to the project manager of the British Enterprise Bank, Justin Chittock there is space for both banks to provide a challenge to the current financial establishments for SMEs. BEB plan to introduce over 20 branches which will be situated in UK business parks. Chittock said:

“Of course, any new player that goes into the SME lending sector would be a competitor to us, but we welcome the development. It shows the small business lending market place and demand is still there.”

BEB intends to increase its search for backing among the City investors, in the months up to Christmas. The new bank is hopeful of strong commitments from financial backers by the start of the new year. According to Chittock, a number of respected bodies who provide advice to the banks are happy to outline details which will be offered to the Financial Services Authority and investors when all firm funding proposals are received. It is hoped that the bank may announce its launch by summer 2012, although no definite decision has been made.

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