RBS and NatWest to invest £20bn in SMEs


Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) looking for a cash boost to get their company going should hotfoot it down to their nearest Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) or NatWest branch.



The two banking organisations have pledged to inject an extra £20 billion in funds for SMEs in the UK in a bid to increase “confidence” in lending, as well as help small businesses to get off the ground.


This news comes as financial institutions across the country face increased pressure from the government and Bank of England to step up their lending to customers in order to help revive the fledgling economy.


Both RBS and NatWest will initially write to 100,000 of their SME customers, after a trial in which people who were contacted in this way took up a combined total of £1.7 billion in lending.


Chris Sullivan, chief executive of corporate banking at RBS, said that the two organisations were “pulling out all the stops” to increase confidence levels so that other banks follow in their footsteps and invest in further growth.


“We bank over a million small and medium businesses and we want them all to realise the borrowing opportunities open to them,” Mr Sullivan added.


The move comes as financial institutions across the country have been criticised for their “harsh” handling of loan requests from entrepreneurs looking for a cash boost.


An official report into lending by the Confederation for British Industry (CBI) has shown that too many small companies are being turned away time and time again for personal reasons rather than due to the fact that their business proposals are flawed.


What’s more, the appeals process seems to safeguard the interests of banking institutions rather than small businesses, the Telegraph reports.


Professor Russel Griggs, the former head of the CBI and author of the report, believes businesspeople are being “judged too harshly”.


Let’s hope that RBS and NatWest’s cash boost will go some way to alleviating the concerns of their banking counterparts so SMEs can get the funding they need to grow.


Posted by the Secret Businessman