Finance · 18 July 2016

NatWest looks to boost confidence with new £1bn small business fund

NatWest’s new £1bn fund will target new and existing businesses with an annual turnover of up to £2m

High street lender NatWest has launched a new £1bn lending fund to help support growth among small businesses across England and Wales.

The fund will be split between 11 UK regions, targeting both new and existing businesses with an annual turnover of up to £2m.

It will offer new borrowing with fixed rate loans of up to £500,000, with no arrangement or repayment fees.

Knowing that they can repay loans without penalty if they deicide not to use them, it is hoped the fund will give owners of some of the UK’s smallest businesses the confidence to move ahead with growth strategies at a time of economic uncertainty.

Managing director at NatWest Business Banking, and expert contributor to Business Advice, Marcelino Castrillo, said that he hoped the high street lender’s new fund would support as many small firms as possible. “We want to assure small businesses that we have funds available and we want to lend.

“We want to be easy to do business with and for our products to be simple and transparent, which is why we scrapped set up and repayment fees on our loans. We hope this flexibility will give confidence to businesses that are ready for growth but might be delaying investment decisions.”

To coincide with the new fund, NatWest has also established a team of so-called “business growth enablers” to provide skills and guidance to business owners across the country.

The team is set to host regular events for local business communities in various parts of the UK, and will teach small business owners on a variety of topics – from importing and exporting to online security.

NatWest have not been the only high street bank to consider the UK’s current economic uncertainty and add to their small business offering. Earlier this month, HSBC widened its pan-European small business financing options be agreeing a €150m fund with Liverpool-based Bibby Financial Services. And in May this year, Barclays launched a £100m fund in support of small firms in Northern Ireland.

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Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.

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