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April 23, 2019

NatWest doubles SME finance fund to £6bn

NatWest's Growth Funding results have shown that £2.9bn of a £3bn pot has been approved for investment, and that the package will be immediately doubled to £6bn.

By Christopher Marchant

NatWest’s Growth Funding results have shown that £2.9bn of a £3bn pot has been approved for investment, and that the package will be immediately doubled to £6bn.

NatWest stated it has doubled the package on the basis of 2018 figures that showed its commercial and business banking business supported total lending of more than £100bn.

As part of the release Lombard has also officially announced the launch of an Intellectual Property Funding product, focused on businesses developing intangible assets such as software.

Ian Isaac, Lombard Asset Finance managing director, said: “Businesses are increasingly reliant on software and other intellectual property to provide value to their customers or efficiencies within their own operating models and are spending significant amounts on research and development.

“Traditionally, borrowing from banks  against these types of intellectual assets has not been straightforward. We, however, have launched a product specifically designed to take into account the high value that these assets represent within a business and can provide finance linked to that value to help firms grow as a result.”

NatWest has recently announced the expansion of its accelerator hubs for start-ups across the UK to 12, following the recent opening in Manchester.

Alison Rose, chief executive officer of commercial and private banking at NatWest, said: “Whatever the circumstances facing businesses throughout the UK, we are passionate about helping them achieve their goals and are flexible in how we do so.

“The bank is truly national in its approach to helping businesses via our regional accelerator hubs, the work through our regional boards and dedicated teams in every corner of the UK. We recognise that the challenges businesses face evolve all the time, which is why we try to innovate whenever we can.”

Last month RBS, NatWest and Tieto partnered to launch a new virtual account platform for SMEs and corporate customers. Specifically, the innovation will allow regulated professional business customers to segregate their clients’ money simply.

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