Bank announces £1 billion investment for SMEs

A high street bank has announced it will invest £1 billion into small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) over the next year, in a move which will reassure the economy is strong enough to withstand Brexit tensions.
Natwest said it plans to help business invest in manufacturing, technology and research and development (R&D).
Announcing the one-year plan, Alison Rose, head of commercial and private banking, said: “Our business customers tell us they don’t always have the time or headspace to plan effectively for the future, which is contributing to low levels of productivity and slow business growth.”
The news follows recent research which indicates that half of businesses fold within five years because of a lack of funding.
The study, published by Liberis, found that 62 per cent of UK SMEs said they need funding to grow and expand, but almost three in five were unsure how to approach a provider or how much to ask for.
Rob Straathof, CEO at Liberis, said: “These findings have opened our eyes to a lack of confidence and awareness among SMEs in how to correctly secure the funding they so desperately need. Funding will continue to be a hot topic for the small business community, but urgent action and collaboration is crucial to prevent resulting damage to the UK economy.
“Without sufficient financial education and support, the UK’s business ambitions will be severely affected but by ensuring they have the correct financial understanding, we can help secure and strengthen their livelihood; fast-tracking their ambitions.”

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