RBS earmarks £2bn Brexit fund for small firms

Royal Bank of Scotland is setting aside £2 billion to help small businesses navigate the myriad issues they are expected to face because of Brexit.

The cash is being made available through NatWest and will support companies with export or import trade with the EU, those with a reliance on the EU labour markets and those exposed to foreign exchange movements.

RBS said the money will help firms deal with supply chain issues and any financial risks that could potentially arise from the UK’s departure from the EU.

NatWest’s head of commercial and private banking Alison Rose said: “The on-going Brexit process will also require businesses to think strategically and tactically about how to navigate what is still an uncertain period ahead.

“We are committed to helping UK businesses access the right financing products so they can meet their short and longer term trade and working capital needs – whatever the outcome of the Brexit process.”

The cash will be made available to all current and prospective customers that meet the eligibility criteria.

It comes after NatWest carried out an in-depth analysis and identified nearly 2,000 of its own customer base that it believes could benefit from additional funding.

The money represents an extension to the initial £1 billion growth funding announced in May.

Ms Rose added: “Earlier this year, we announced an additional £1 billion designed to help UK businesses invest in manufacturing, technology and development and have approved nearly £900 million for investment already.

“To triple this initial figure to £3 billion is tremendously exciting and we’re thrilled to be able to help British businesses keep growing.”