Last month RBS and NatWest announced its return to the NACFB after three years pushing the association’s ranks of active business lenders close to triple figures.
Adam Tyler, chief executive of the NACFB, said: “We are delighted to welcome the RBS NatWest Group to the growing ranks of lenders who are supporting small businesses through commercial brokers.
“This exclusive partnership means RBS and NatWest can call on the regional and industry expertise of NACFB brokers to establish a steady flow of business loans which will ensure these vital funds reach the companies and sectors where they are needed most.”
Barry Evans, regional director business and commercial banking at RBS, said: “We are already the biggest lender to small businesses in the UK but we want to lend more. We are always looking for new ways to support SMEs.
“This channel will allow SMEs wider access to RBS and NatWest products and financial solutions. We recognise the role the NACFB plays in helping SMEs find alternative finance providers and are delighted to be working in partnership with them and their member brokers.”
NACFB’s analysis of Bank of England data showed the value of monthly SME loans from major lenders remained 8% lower than in 2011 despite 10% annual growth in 2013.
With the UK’s SME population having increased by 4% since 2011 the relative funding per business has fallen by 12% in the last two years.
In contrast SME lending through NACFB members grew by 21% between 2011 and 2013 to reach a five year high of £10.5bn.
Tyler added: “We have seen a visible shift in the flavour of the business funding markets with increasingly varied and flexible options available to address the short supply of mainstream finance.
“RBS and NatWest is a giant of the banking world. It clearly signals a growing confidence and appetite for commercial lending which will strengthen the mix of accessible business finance.
“High street doors are finally reopening to entrepreneurs which spells good news for growth for businesses and the wider economy.”