NatWest has announced it is launching green loans, and through Lombard, green asset finance propositions for qualifying SMEs, with no arrangement fee, to help them achieve their sustainability ambitions.
Following the announcement of the bank’s ambition to provide £100bn of Climate and Sustainable Funding and Financing to customers by the end of 2025, green loans and green asset finance are due to be open for applications from 18 February 2022. Together, these propositions aim to help qualifying SMEs finance the business assets to support their sustainability ambitions, such as solar panels, electric vehicles, or heat pumps on commercial buildings that fall within the eligible list developed by the bank on an ongoing basis.
Customers do not need to be existing NatWest customers to apply, and the green loan proposition will be available across NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland, and Ulster Bank NI brands, whilst the Green Asset Finance will be available through the Lombard brand.
The new propositions are designed to open up opportunities for sustainable growth options for qualifying SMEs and reflect the societal benefit of delivering climate action. To apply, qualifying SMEs will work directly with a NatWest or Lombard Relationship Manager to discuss their needs and check their eligibility.
The announcement follows the publication of NatWest’s A Springboard to Sustainable Recovery report last October, which found that the UK’s six million SMEs can achieve 50% of the UK’s Net Zero decarbonisation goals worth an estimated £160bn revenue opportunity. However, the report found that less than 10% of SMEs currently see climate action as a source of future growth, and that SMEs lack access to support through funding, knowledge and training.
Paul Thwaite, CEO of Commercial Banking, NatWest Group says: “Climate change is one of the biggest global challenges we face today, and SMEs have a critical role to play in helping the UK realise its green ambition. The reality is that while SMEs want to help by reducing emissions, they face many barriers doing so such as limited access to information, funding and training.”
“We’re working to remove these barriers with concrete actions – providing incentives, such as loans and asset financing that aim to support sustainability ambitions, and aim to benefit businesses whether they bank with NatWest or not.”
“Today we’re announcing our ambition to stand by small businesses of the UK to help them reduce emissions and explore the opportunities that a move towards a green economy brings for us all. We cannot underestimate the power of small changes to make a big impact.”
Information on how to apply for a green loan or green asset financing is available on the NatWest Climate Hub. The new Climate Hub features tips, insights and tools aiming to help all UK SMEs act now to tackle climate change, by reducing emissions and unlocking green growth opportunities.