Royal Bank of Scotland & Lloyds offer support to SMEs affected by Coronavirus


Royal Bank of Scotland is offering to defer mortgage and loan repayments for three months, for customers affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.

The bank is also making it easier for customers to access cash without penalty, to help prevent cash flow problems (as is reportedly happening in Italy too).

An RBS spokesperson explains: “We are monitoring the potential impact of Coronavirus across all our customers to ensure we can support them appropriately through any period of disruption.

We have a strong track record in working with our customers who are affected by disruption outside of their control.

RBS says it is supporting personal customers in five ways:

  • Mortgage and loan repayment deferral for up to three months
  • Customers can close fixed savings accounts to access cash with no early closure charge
  • Refunds on credit card cash advance fees
  • Customers can apply for increased temporary credit card limit
  • Customers can request an increased cash withdrawal limit of up to £500

RBS has also “proactively” contacted 5,000 customers to offer support, it adds.

Whilst Lloyds Banking Group has pledged to offer £2bn of new funding for small firms, which won’t come with any arrangement fee, to help their cashflows cope with Covid-19.

This will mean:

  • No arrangement fees for new overdrafts or overdraft limit increases, for small companies
  • No arrangement fees for new or increased invoice discounting and finance facilities
  • In certain circumstances, repayment holidays to be provided, to those businesses impacted the most

These measure should help fundamentally healthy firms cope with a short-term hit, if the UK imposes significant quarantine measures in the weeks and months ahead.

David Oldfield, group director for commercial banking at Lloyds Banking Group said: “We fully understand how worrying these times are for business owners, concerned not only about their and their own family’s health and wellbeing, but also of their employees. They are also worried what the outbreak might mean for their business and with no knowledge of how or when they might be affected.

As our customers face into such uncertainty, we want to provide reassurance to them that, if needed, we are here to help with additional working capital to get them through temporary interruptions to their business and to their cashflow.”