Whilst providing new ways of offering support, the charter also extends existing key initiatives already helping customers sustain and grow their business.
New SME charter commitments
As part of a wider organisational commitment to openness and transparency, customers and key industry bodies will be consulted on commitments within the charter, ensuring key issues continue to be addressed. Progress against these commitments will be reported on a regular basis.
Renewal of price promise and committed overdraft
Early on when businesses feared credit would be pulled, or rates increased, NatWest and RBS were the first to offer a combination of a committed 12 month overdraft and a price promise. After such a positive impact, the new NatWest and RBS charter includes a renewal of this unique promise for a further year to all SMEs.
Fees capped per annum
NatWest and RBS will become the first banks to introduce a 1.5% cap on overdraft and loan arrangement fees per annum, for businesses with a turnover up to £25m.
New support for start-ups
The banks are presently supporting over 2,000 start-ups per week, which exceed levels seen in 2008. To build on this success, NatWest’s market leading start-up offer of two years free banking will now be extended to RBS customers as part of the Bank’s new SME charter.
Peter Ibbetson, chairman, small business, said: “Access to finance at fair prices sits at the top of many business’ wish list, which is why we are extending our overdraft price promise and offering reassurance and transparency on the fees we charge. At the same time it’s equally important we do all we can to help develop new businesses by extending our free banking offer.”