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'Save £4,000 with lending scheme'

By Clare Weir

Published 28/09/2012

Ulster Bank claims that small businesses in Northern Ireland could save up to £4,000 thanks to a new lending scheme backed by the central bank.

The bank said it will use the new Bank of England Funding for Lending scheme to benefit customers in Northern Ireland by removing arrangement fees for new business loans drawn down under the scheme, and cutting interest rates on eligible business loans by an average of 1%.

Funding For Lending allows commercial banks which have signed up to the scheme to borrow up to 5% of their loan book from the Bank of England providing they boost lending over the next year.

A total of 13 banks have signed up to the scheme including Ulster Bank owner RBS Group.

Based on an average small business loan of £100,000, the bank said that this could result in total savings of £4,000 over the term of the loan - made up of £1,500 arrangement fee and £2,500 interest.

Ian Jordan, head of business and commercial banking at Ulster Bank said that it is committed to providing affordable finance to businesses.

"We recognise that we have a key role to play in supporting businesses in Northern Ireland. We have the funding available to help companies large and small achieve their ambitions," he said.

Ulster Bank's participation in the scheme was welcomed by the Chamber of Commerce.

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