Santander is to expand its supply chain finance (SCF) offering in the UK.

The bank’s SCF initiative currently supports around 1,000 suppliers in Britain, but it is to be opened up to a further 3,000 customers. The automated, cross-jurisdiction tool will also be available at a discounted rate of 50 basis points (bps).

Lindsey Rix, Santander’s managing director for product and strategy, tells GTR that the expansion is part of a concerted effort to grow the bank’s corporate banking presence in the UK. She says: “We’re keen to get more finance into suppliers quicker, to ease their working capital problems and at a cheaper rate than they would have to borrow under.

“We’re a relatively small player in the UK corporate banking market but we’re expanding. We’ve grown our SME lending by 20% year-on-year for the last three years and we wish to continue that. By virtue of having more customers we are able to talk to suppliers about SCF.”