NatWest has today released the latest set of Growth Funding figures, with the bank revealing that £2.9bn of the already-expanded £3bn pot has been approved for investment. The Growth Funding package will be immediately doubled to £6bn and will help businesses looking to grow, fund green initiatives and navigate the current uncertain business climate.
NatWest’s Growth Funding offer is just one element of the bank’s commitment to helping businesses not only navigate challenges such as the continued Brexit uncertainty but also seize the plethora of opportunities available in today’s climate for businesses to progress. NatWest has doubled the package on the back of 2018 figures that reveal its Commercial and Business Banking business supported total lending of more than £100bn and has recently announced the expansion of its accelerator hubs for start-ups across the UK to 12, following the recent opening in Manchester. On top of this, NatWest has begun piloting the UK’s first ever business banking hubs alongside two other high-street banks.
Alison Rose, CEO 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.”
One example of the bank’s innovative offer to entrepreneurs and business owners comes through the Group’s Lombard asset finance arm. Lombard has developed an Intellectual Property Funding product which is a unique solution that allows businesses to unlock capital invested in developing their intangible assets such as software, something Ian Isaac, Lombard Asset Finance’s managing director, says is imperative in today’s market:
“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.”
Green finance also remains a key focus for the bank underlined by the fact that nearly £800m has been approved for projects with a renewables and/ or energy efficiency tilt. Finance is available right now and NatWest is keen to highlight how quickly it can provide whatever solution entrepreneurs and business owners may need.
Alison Rose, commented: “We are working every day to look at what businesses need to not just survive, but grow. In many cases this is bespoke funding which is why we are once again expanding our total Growth Funding pot to £6bn. However, we have also seen that other support is needed. We have seen great success out of our accelerator hubs and witnessed businesses revolutionise themselves and reach new heights thanks to our Lombard IP finance product. On top of this, thanks to the review we carried out alongside the treasury, we have identified a host of new challenges facing female entrepreneurs in particular and are already developing solutions and interventions such as our women-only crowdfunding platform, Back Her Business. I’m proud of what we have achieved already, but even more excited about what we can offer now and in the future.”