Banks launch £250m fund to help storm-hit businesses

RBS and Natwest have set aside money for interest-free loans to firms affected by the recent windy weather.

by Elizabeth Anderson
Last Updated: 10 Jan 2014

The recent flooding and gale-force winds left a trail of misery for businesses with damaged stock and those unable to make deliveries.

In response, Natwest and RBS have launched a £250m UK Storm Business Fund to give short term, interest free loans to speed recovery for affected businesses. The loans will cover the cost of repairs and replacement stock to help businesses return to normal trading, and firms can also apply for support if they have lost trade, or seen a drop in customers as a response.

The loans will be provided for three months and companies can apply for up to £250,000. The fund will be open to all businesses, not just those which are current customers of RBS or Natwest.

Temporary overdraft requests will also be fast-tracked and firms can apply for temporary credit card limit increases.

Chris Sullivan, CEO Corporate Bank for NatWest and RBS, said: ‘Many firms will have taken a real hit to their livelihoods as a result of this prolonged period of adverse weather. The loss of trade or damage to stock from such a storm can mean businesses find themselves in financial trouble…It’s important to the local economy and communities to get these businesses operational again.’

Retailers were some of the worst affected by the severe winds which swept over parts of the UK during the key Christmas period, causing a 7% drop in sales on Monday December 23 and a 3.8% reduction in footfall the weekend before Christmas.

PWC has estimated that the total bill for flood damage during the storms in October and December will cost insurers £400m.

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