Finance · 27 October 2017

TSB plans “aggressive” transformation of small business lending market

Stroud, United Kingdom - September 11, 2013: A newly opened TSB building society branch on Stroud high street in the southwest of England
TSB confirmed its intention to seek a grant from the RBS fund set up to increase business banking competition

The chief executive of TSB bank has announced plans to be “as aggressive as possible” in disrupting small business lending and providing entrepreneurs with the finance needed to grow their firm.

Responding to the bank’s latest financial results for 2017, TSB CEO Paul Pester said the figures – showing 1,000 new accounts opening daily with customer deposits now surpassing £30bn – had “cemented” the lender’s position as a challenger bank that could meet the needs of small business owners.

In an official statement, Pester championed the bank’s delivery of a “state-of-the-art banking platform”, which is allowing customers to become some of the first to use Apple’s new facial recognition technology to log into accounts.

He also confirmed the bank’s intention to compete for a grant from the Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS) Capability and Innovation Fund to finance its drive to shake-up the small business lending space.

Read more: Government and EU agree measures to resolve RBS state aid commitments

The £750m fund, announced by the government in July, was set up as part of RBS’ state aid committments to increase competition in business banking by encouraging more business customers to switch accounts to eligible challenger banks.

“Breaking the stranglehold of the big five banks remains top of our agenda and we’ll continue to work closely with the government, policymakers and regulators in an attempt to bring the full force of competition to bear on the UK banking market – and ultimately make banking better for all UK consumers,” Pester said.

The CEO disclosed more detail of the bank’s small business lending plans to Sky News, confirming TSB’s intention to “offer something new” to entrepreneurs.

“If we get one of the bigger grants from RBS then we will use every penny of it to help support small businesses and to make it as uncomfortable as possible for the big five,” Pester said.

“We see ourselves as a challenger bank with teeth and we will be as aggressive as possible when it comes to small business lending.”

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Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.