Owners of small UK firms could soon apply for finance within a matter of minutes, as a new NatWest business loan platform promises to streamline the bank’s lending process.
By removing the burden of paperwork for small business customers and automatically storing personal data, the high street bank has claimed its online platform will cut down the loan applications process from 21 days to just three minutes.
Once logged-in to their NatWest online banking app, customers will be able to see exactly how much they are able to borrow. If successful, small business owners could receive funds in their bank accounts within one working day.
NatWest has already pre-assessed 500,000 existing customers for access to the platform, with £4bn being made available for borrowing when it is rolled-out in the summer. Small business owners will be able to apply for loans of up to £35,000 to help grow their firm.
Commenting on the launch of the new NatWest business loan service, the bank’s managing director of business and private banking – and Business Advice expert – Marcelino Castrillo, claimed the platform’s represented a lending breakthrough for the small business community.
“As the UK’s biggest bank for business we think it’s important to listen to our customers. Business owners tell us they want to do their banking when and where it is convenient for them, so we have transformed our lending capabilities to make this possible,” he added.
“We also want business owner to know we are open for lending, so rather than waiting for them to come to us, we will proactively show them how much they could borrow when they log in to their online banking.”
As well as the online offering, the new NatWest business loan service will also mean improvements for customers looking to apply for finance in branches and over the phone, as all three routes will use the same process.
NatWest also reminded small business owners of the flexibility of its commercial loans, offered without arrangement or early repayment fees.
The incoming online platform represents the bank’s latest step to improve the finance options for small business owners.
As part of a new fintech push, NatWest recently launched its Esme Loans service, creating an automated platform to provide unsecured business loans of up to £150,000. The digital offering is targeted at small firms with a starting turnover of £15,000, stopping at medium-sized businesses with revenue of £25m.
Find out more about Barclays’ efforts to support the UK’s entrepreneurs
Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest from Business Advice.