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Following wide-ranging support from Barclays there is a healthcare business in the Cotswolds that is close to achieving its growth ambitions.

PUBLISHED: 14:30 15 July 2013 | UPDATED: 14:32 15 July 2013

David Goodall, Barclays

David Goodall, Barclays

David Goodall, Barclays

Following wide-ranging support from Barclays there is a healthcare business in the Cotswolds that is close to achieving its growth ambitions.

In itself that’s no surprise, but the difference in this case is that very little of the support provided by the bank’s relationship director was to do with the company’s need for finance.

“The owner involved was keen to expand his business by buying another property, but he soon found that the bank had a much broader understanding of what he was trying to achieve and could help in other ways,” explained Barclays corporate director for Bath, Gloucestershire & Wiltshire, David Goodall.

“After chatting to his relationship director about his plans he found he had local knowledge and contacts that could help him with issues such as likely demand, fee structures, the healthcare market in the area and even builders that specialised in what he wanted to do.”

To David, the story is an example of how Barclays’ commitment to locally-based relationship directors who specialise in different business sectors means they can go beyond the traditional role of providing funding, investment opportunities or banking services.

“Our goal is to see our customers succeed and thrive,” he explained. “We do that by understanding how each business ticks, learning about what the management team is trying to achieve and sharing its ambitions. Barclays believes that the best way to help a business is not just to look at its figures but to understand its goals.”

That process is helped by the fact that the bank has invested in a revised structure that means relationship directors now manage fewer clients than they used to, allowing them more time to build the understanding that is vital to providing the right kind of support to those clients.

“Barclays is a business like any other, and we have invested in making sure we deliver the right service to our customers,” David commented. “Our relationship directors understand their sectors and the dynamics that operate within them, which is why they can act as a sounding board for clients.”

While local knowledge is increasingly important from the Barclays team, which consists of four relationship directors in Gloucester, two in Swindon and two in Bath, that doesn’t mean funding has taken a back seat.

Barclays continues to support companies with a well-thought out business plan and, as Oxfordshire-based corporate director Trevor French pointed out, the bank has been outperforming the market in providing finance.

“The Bank of England’s own figures show that the past three years have seen a decline of £82 billion in lending to businesses,” he pointed out. “While several factors have contributed to that drop, the fact remains that over the same period Barclays grew its corporate lending by 20 per cent.”

In terms of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), Barclays net lending rose by £400m between January and October 2012, a period that saw a three per cent decline in lending across the UK as a whole.

As well as providing finance, Barclays has introduced new products to support businesses. They include the Ping-it mobile phone-based payments system, more targeted marketing available through the Bespoke Offers scheme that uses drilled-down Barclaycard data and the increased functionality of the new Barclays.net online banking service.

The other key product is the innovative Barclays Cashback for Business scheme that has taken government-backed Funding for Lending cash and used it to give businesses an upfront payment instead of spreading the discount across the full term of the loan.

It was Cashback for Business that supported Intamarque Ltd when it invested in its £4m head office and distribution centre at Ashchurch, Tewkesbury.

The company, owned and managed by twin brothers Stephen and Richard Shortt, has created 15 new jobs as a result of moving to the 80,000 sq. ft site with more than 7,000 high bay pallet locations and state-of-the-art stock management systems.

Barclays relationship director Mike Archer said the bank had “developed a great working relationship with Intamarque Ltd to deliver a finance solution to help facilitate this exciting expansion and major investment program.”

The Cashback for Business deal, meanwhile, turned the discount on the Funding for Lending product into an upfront cash injection of more than £100,000.

Barclays’ local involvement in the Cotswolds extends beyond the office, with relationship directors involved in charity work and as governors of local schools.

David Goodall is co-chairman of the Gloucestershire Local Enterprise Partnership’s banking panel and also sits on its investment committee, deepening his knowledge of the local business dynamic as well as lending his expertise to the LEP.

Like his team, David is proud of his local roots. Born in Bristol, he went to school in Bath and he values the fact that he lives and works alongside businesses that Barclays has helped, is helping or could help in the future.

He also enjoys live music, which makes the bank’s sponsorship of the world-renowned Cheltenham Jazz Festival a particularly great idea in his eyes. “Not only is the festival a great event, it is also fantastic for the area because it attracts visitors – and revenue – from all over the world. Supporting the festival is just another way in which Barclays supports the Cotswolds,” he said.

The views expressed in this article are the views of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Barclays Bank PLC Group nor should they be taken as statements of policy or intent of the Barclays Bank PLC Group. The Barclays Bank PLC Group takes no responsibility for the veracity of information contained in the third part guides or articles and no warranties or undertakings of any kind, whether express or implied, regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information given. The Barclays Bank PLC Group takes no liability for the impact of any decisions made based on information contained and views expressed.

David Goodall

david.goodall@barclays.com

07920 266489

Trevor French

Trevor.French@barclays.com

07917 426547

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