Lloyds Bank has expanded its Lancashire SME commercial banking centre to increase its support for the region’s business community.

The bank has consolidated its operations into the two floors above its Fishergate branch in Preston city centre, moving 11 relationship managers into the centre as well as four new recruits.

The new recruits are Lauren Derbyshire, relationship manager, healthcare; Sharon Ball, relationship manager, agriculture; Kay Wareing, relationship director, manufacturing and Garry Birchall, relationship director, local banking.

They were recruited to boost service levels to the local business community and to increase Lloyds Bank’s presence across Lancashire and Cumbria.

The banking centre is home to the Lancashire local banking, commercial banking and business development teams as well as commercial finance specialists.

It also houses sector specialist teams with expertise supporting manufacturing, healthcare, education, property and agriculture businesses.

Martyn Kendrick, regional director for SME banking in the North West, Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “This move is designed to further enhance the level of specialist service we can offer to the region’s businesses.

“Locating our teams together like this will help us deliver a comprehensive banking service to SME businesses”

“We are bringing together our expertise in some of the key sectors that underpin the local economy, reflecting demand from the local business community.

“It’s a declaration of our determination to help SMEs in Lancashire and Cumbria access the funding and support needed to grow at home and abroad. We’re committed to helping businesses prosper, that’s we’ve pledged to grow our net lending to SMEs by at least £1billion every year until 2017.”