NatWest has added another £2.2bn in capacity to its £6bn Brexit Growth Fund to help small businesses.
The NatWest Growth Funding initiative, designed to help scale-ups, fund green initiatives and navigate current Brexit uncertainty was doubled this year to £6bn.
So far, NatWest has committed £5.6bn of the £8.2bn available, removing any cap on amounts which can be borrowed.
The bank says it has identified several thousand customers likely to suffer most from Brexit uncertainties and plans to contact them directly.
In addition, NatWest is holding a roadshow across the UK answering questions from small and growth business about Brexit means for them. The next two events will be held on October 21 in Birmingham and October 222 in Milton Keynes, where the focus will be on four areas: importing and exporting, supplying services to the EU, employees, and using and transferring data. To find out more, go to the NatWest Brexit Hub.
Paul Thwaite, MD commercial banking, said: “During a time of such uncertainty, it is imperative that we do all we can to support our customers. Our business customers are extremely busy, and there is a lot to do. This is why we wanted to go to them offering our support in a proactive way. We are very much open for business and want to be the bank that supports the UK’s businesses through this uncertain time.”
However, demand for NatWest’s Growth Funding initiative flies in the face of the latest quarterly Bank of England credit conditions survey, which recorded a slight decrease in borrowing demand from small and medium-sized businesses between July and September, and expects demand to remain flat up until Christmas.
Meanwhile, NatWest has signed up to the government’s Business Finance Council SME charter, which has been established to reassure small business anxious in the face of a no-deal Brexit.
Small Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst said: “Financial support from banks is often crucial to the success of an SME. So it is great to see NatWest reaffirming support for their business customers through our new SME Finance Charter.”