John Wilkinson, the Area Commercial Director, Thames Valley and North Hampshire and Ross Qualters, the Senior International Relationship Manager for the same area, visited Sir George at his office in Andover to tell him of funds available for small and medium sized businesses in the area. "They told me that they had £100 million pounds available locally, and their mission was to get it out of the door. They explained that they are more than happy to visit firms at their premises, rather than expect them to come to a branch of the bank, and that roughly 80% of applications were approved. They already have a fair number of clients in the area, but are anxious to expand."
Sir George said he welcomed competition in the retail banking market, and was pleased to hear that, as the economy improved and firms were thinking of investing, funds were available from the banks.