NatWest accused of closing small company accounts after Covid loan requests

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NatWest provides shut the accounts associated with some small business customers who have applied for government-backed loans to assist them get through the outbreak, leaving them distressed plus unable to access their money.

Several clients of the 62% taxpayer-owned financial institution have complained that their particular accounts had been suspended or even closed down without description after they put in a loan app.

The bank mentioned the reasons for closing the particular accounts were valid, however the closures came after clients had been approved for financial loans and were expecting to get the money in their accounts.

Instead, customers mentioned their money had been obstructed without notice, with one stating he was now not able to afford food as a result.

The Treasury is all about to enter talks using the UK’s largest banks on the plan to help tackle the particular tens of billions of pounds associated with bad debts expected to result from the particular bounce-back loan scheme (BBLS), which requires only minimum checks on the borrower’s capability to pay the money back.

More than 1m businesses have borrowed £32. 8bn in just two months under the BBLS, which offers small businesses 100% government-backed loans worth up to £50, 000 at an interest rate associated with 2 . 5%. There are simply no fees or interest for that first 12 months.

The Office for Budget Obligation warned recently that as much as 40% of the loans can default. If that happens it might cost the taxpayer £16bn.

The NatWest group has been responsible for greater than a fifth of the lending over the three government-backed loan techniques. However , there have been claims the fact that bank initially struggled underneath the weight of loan applications, which the fraud checks that will needed to be carried out were leading to issues.

NatWest is bracing itself for the wave of bad debts, yet on Sunday denied reviews that it plans to make cost benefits of £3bn over the following five years.

The bank, which changed the name from RBS a week ago, said a report in the Weekend Times that it was planning to decrease its annual costs through £7bn to £4bn has been inaccurate. “We do not have any kind of plans of this type, ” a spokeswoman said.

It is not clear the number of accounts have been closed subsequent bounce-back loan applications, or exactly why NatWest has frozen the particular accounts of existing clients after approving them to get a loan.

Tweets users have claimed within recent days that NatWest has shut their balances after approving bounce-back financial loans. Meanwhile, a Facebook team called “NatWest closed lower my account” that was placed in January now has more compared to 1, 300 members, numerous posting similar claims.

NatWest said: “We know this is a difficult plus stressful time for our littlest business customers, and we have been working tirelessly to provide the government schemes in a safe and robust way – successfully supporting 23% of most lending across the three strategies. Unfortunately, not all applications qualify. ”

To the three specific cases delivered to the bank attention a NatWest spokesperson added: “Investigations make sure the reason for closing these particular customers’ accounts is legitimate. ”

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NatWest accused of shutting small business accounts after Covid loan applications

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