Bank of Scotland to support export boost plan
The Bank of Scotland has pledged to help Scottish businesses become first-time exporters to boost the nation's economy.
The bank's commitment is included in the new charter for small and medium enterprises by its parent company Lloyds Banking Group.
The group has set a target of supporting 5,000 new exporters across the UK in 2016 and 25,000 by 2020.
The charter also pledges to boost lending to small businesses by £1bn.
Graham Blair, from the Bank of Scotland, said: "The future success of the Scottish economy hinges on small businesses looking to overseas markets for growth.
"Through this new pledge, we want to support a new legion of Scottish exporters, and ultimately to help the Scottish economy to prosper."
Lloyds Banking Group said it planned to invest £450m in digital technology and training in the next three years, including creating a new international trade portal enabling UK businesses to discover opportunities across the globe.
The group has trained more than 300 UK staff in international trade and has a network of export specialists across the country to help develop and advise on overseas trading opportunities.
UK Trade and Investment Minister Lord Price said: "This government has committed to having 100,000 more UK companies exporting by 2020 and this pledge by Lloyds is a welcome contribution towards this target.
"It's great to see the banks doing their bit to support small and medium-sized businesses looking to invest and create jobs."