Re-engineering the business overdraft

People aren't lining up to heap praise on The Royal Bank of Scotland these days, but we have them to thank for the invention of the overdraft - one of the most enduring popular finance products of the past 300 years.

Edinburgh merchant William Hogg was the first recipient of a business overdraft when he secured a £1,000 facility (£60,000 at today's value) in 1728 - only a year after the bank was founded and a little over thirty since bank notes were first introduced in the country. However, we believe that somewhere along the way high street banks lost their innovative spark and the overdraft has remained virtually unchanged for the past 277 years. Until now.

We believe that business overdrafts can be transparent, flexible and fair tools for business growth. We set up Growth Street because we believed that small and medium-sized businesses were being badly served by high street banks and wanted to offer an alternative source of fairly priced finance to help companies achieve their potential. 

In a recent survey of 500 UK SMEs by Barclays, business owners identified “better technology” as the second biggest driver of growth in 2015. Crucially, technology isn't just driving customer engagement, its impact is being felt in the back office and business planning functions of companies as well. Our seamless online application, our integration with accountancy software like Xero and Sage, and our easy-to-use customer dashboard brings technological simplicity to business management. 

We are proud to playing our part in the UK's FinTech revolution and to helping more great companies take the next step.

Written on in News