Guide to borrowing

Available to

  • SMEs thinking of applying for finance for growth
  • Businesses that have had applications declined.

Before applying for finance, you should always consider what type of lending is the best option for your business, and whether you can afford to repay any money you borrow: we will assess your ability to repay before we make any decision.

Submitting your finance application

Applications require additional information and supporting documents, so always check what you need to supply with your application. The checklist below will help to ensure you have completed your application in full, in order to give us all the information we need to consider your request.

Outline what you need:

  • State how much you would like to borrow – we need to quantify your request
  • State why you would like the finance – so we can check it is for a suitable business purpose and decide which type of finance best suits your needs
  • State how long you would like the finance for – we need to know the term of the loan to help assess affordability and ensure the right finance is suggested for your business needs

Information you may need to provide:

  • Business plan
  • Cash flow forecast
  • Historic accounts
  • Management accounts
  • Assets

Further information that will help your application:

  • Profile of the owner and/or management team – this helps the bank assess your capabilities
  • The owner’s investment in the business – this shows the owner’s investment relative to the bank’s proposed investment
  • Whether or not security is available – this shows whether you have security to support your proposal
  • Other business interests – this allows the bank to assess any other commitments you have

Getting to know your business

Whether you’re a new business that needs start-up funding, or a growing company that needs the funds for expansion, any application for finance involves building up a picture of your personal and business circumstances combined with your financial history. This is a critical part of assessing the business and will often be used alongside your business plan and cash flow projections.

Read more about our commitments to our business customers and what we ask of you – the Standards of Lending Practice.

If your application is declined

If your application is declined, we will confirm the reasons why, in writing. Your relationship contact will talk with you and explain why your application has been declined, and they will discuss any alternative options with you.

If you are unhappy with the decision that has been made, you have the right to appeal and you can talk to your relationship contact about how to go about this. Learn more on how to appeal.

Protecting your money - Financial Services Compensation Scheme (Opens in a new window)