Struggling SMEs to get 'independent debt advice' as RBS seals charity tie-up
The Edinburgh-based bank, part of NatWest Group, has donated the money to charity StepChange to fund a dedicated team, who will have access to a range of options designed to support business customers struggling with their finances.
The team will offer appointments to business customers who the bank feels would benefit from debt advice. These range from completing full debt advice, to referral to a specialist such as a tax accountant, RBS added.
StepChange will then support the customer “through the next stages of their journey”, and help support the ongoing relationship between the bank and its clients.
NatWest chief executive Alison Rose said: “Our priority is always to support customers who are facing financial difficulties in a sympathetic and collaborative way, and we have a skilled and experienced team who do that every day. However, we recognise that there are instances where customers would benefit from speaking with an independent advisor, particularly where debts are spread across multiple lenders.
“We are proud to be partnering with StepChange to help fund this new team who will support our business customers who need that additional level of support. We will continue to monitor and anticipate the needs of all our customers to ensure we have the right measures in place.”
StepChange chief executive Phil Andrew said: “By being referred to StepChange, RBS customers will have access to a high quality, dedicated team whose sole focus will be on helping them, with their bank’s support.
“Debt is something that can affect absolutely anyone, and what’s important is having easy access to good services at a time of need. Through this service we aim to establish a realistic pathway for customers to address their problems and restore their personal financial health, and we look forward to working with them.”
In August, the bank announced that it was freezing its account tariffs and charges for business current account customers for a minimum of 12 months. Shortly before that it announced a package of £1.25 billion in lending support for the UK agriculture sector.
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