Businesses as far flung as the Outer Hebrides and Canterbury, Ipswich and Llandudno, have benefitted from cheaper finance since the scheme’s launch in August 2012. More than 1,000 businesses in each of Belfast, Birmingham, Sheffield and Manchester, and more than 4,000 London-based businesses have had FLS backed funding from RBS and NatWest.
Mid-sized manufacturers are being offered targeted support, with interest rates reduced by more than 1% in some cases. SME customers have benefited from both lower interest rates and the removal of arrangement fees.
Meanwhile the bank is proactively contacting SME customers to outline how much additional borrowing the bank is willing to lend them through FLS or otherwise`.
Gordon Merrylees, Managing Director for RBS Business Banking in Scotland, where more than 4,300 firms have been offered £708m, said: “To date we have written to more than 23,000 businesses offering £6.6bn of new lending. We want to lend more money. We are the number one lender to SMEs in the UK but we know there are still businesses out there who want to borrow, to invest and grow.”
Enterprising young vet
Faye Bethell has founded her own veterinary practice in North Walsham, Norfolk and created four new jobs, using a £280,000 FLS funding package from NatWest.
Faye has opened a state-of-the-art practice, Toll Barn Vets, which has been purpose built to cater to the needs of domestic and exotic animals. Although the business has only been open a few weeks, Faye’s clients range from cats and dogs to monkeys and a White’s tree frog.
She said: “I have always wanted to work for myself but never thought it would be possible. It means the world to me to start my own business and to have the freedom to offer the best possible standard of care within the local community.
“It’s an amazing feeling to be my own boss and, together with the team, I am looking forward to a bright future in business.”
Faye plans on developing the business to become a training practice over the next year.
Best for business
RBS is working hard to ensure it is the best UK bank for providing support to business customers. A number of improvements are underway including putting hundreds of business manager back on the high street, halving the number of products on offer to customers and speeding up account opening times.
Gordon Merrylees said: “We want to be the best bank for businesses in the UK and the discounted finance we have been offering to customers under FLS is just one way we are doing that.”
Find out more about borrowing through the Funding for Lending Scheme.