Despite challenging conditions in retail, the strength of large grocers has been reinforced by a number of successful financings in 2013.

Earlier this year, we jointly led Morrisons’ €700m bond issue. It was an example of a UK domiciled organisation using the euro-bond market and attracting a new investor base. We have also seen Tesco refinance, successfully securing a new facility from its syndicate of banks.

Although the global financial crisis created unprecedented conditions and uncertainty for large grocers and limited liquidity, these conditions have now eased. The difference now is that whether it’s public bond issues, bank finance, or any other instrument, funding is more competitive than it was during the recession. There is also more of it.

The reality is that the liquidity challenges we saw during the recession are lessening and the large supermarkets have a wealth of funding options available.

Strategy, management and direction are important factors in our decisions to support businesses of all kinds. We also take a long-term view. On certain occasions, short-term challenges may have a short-term impact on trading performance, but we would not change our lending decisions based on such hurdles.

In addition to their ability to secure financing, large grocers continue to foster strong employee cultures, which is helping to drive their performance.Those management teams that have the buy-in of their staff and are continuously helping them to understand their business goals, are best-placed to achieve growth. Grocery is particularly innovative and dynamic in this respect.

The outlook in terms of performance and ability to access finance remains positive for the UK’s large supermarkets. A lot of the grocers are performing strongly and remain popular with investors. We provide a wide range of financing facilities and solutions to support the ambitions of large supermarkets, and expect this level of activity to continue to gain momentum as the recovery continues.

Keith Richardson is MD for retail sector at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking