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First Trust £50m loan fund open for big businesses in Northern Ireland

By David Elliott

First Trust said targeting big businesses with the launch of a £50m loan fund.

The Owner Managed Business Fund is aimed at businesses which are owned and managed in Northern Ireland and looking to borrow over £250,000.

And in a further sign that the bank, owned by troubled parent AIB, has its sights set on increasing its share of the lending market here, it's offering new customers which use the scheme and transfer their 'primary' bank accounts 12-months fee-free banking.

Brian Gillan, Head of Business Banking at First Trust Bank said it was keen to tap into a demand for lending as the economy recovers: "We have long been a supporter of the local SME and owner managed sector," he said.

"The latest fund can be used for working capital, purchasing business premises, capital expenditure, or a new initiative. It offers our most competitive rates."

The news follows Business Secretary Vince Cable's assertion on a visit to Belfast this week that Northern Ireland needs a more targeted lending scheme.

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