Staff from NatWest have handed over £6,000 and a truck-full of goods to help people hit by flooding in Somerset.
A team from the bank were at Tuesday’s Yeovil Town match against Watford collecting money for Somerset Community Foundation’s Somerset Flood Appeal. The bank has doubled the money collected at the fixture against Watford, making it one of the largest collections ever carried out at the club.
Meanwhile RBS, NatWest’s parent company, arranged for a truck-load of chest waders, shovels and cleaning materials, donated by the bank’s cleaning suppliers ISS, to be delivered to Somerset.
The waders were donated to the FLAG action group in Burrowbridge, while the other goods are being stored by the bank ready for use in the clean-up operation.
Chris Preston, NatWest’s regional director of business banking for Devon, Cornwall and Somerset, said: “We wanted to do whatever we could to help those who have been devastated by the bad weather.
“We turned out in force at the Yeovil Town FC match to collect for the Somerset Flood Appeal, and the fans were supportive and very generous. Now NatWest has matched the money that we collected at the game and we have presented Somerset Community Foundation with a total of £6,000.”
Staff from the bank’s business, commercial and retail divisions were at the match with collection buckets along with colleagues from Lombard, the asset finance arm of RBS.
NatWest is also operating special late-night opening at its branches in Bridgwater and Langport to help people who have been hit by flooding.
The two branches will stay open until 7.30pm on February 26 and 27, with advice on hand about support including mortgage repayment holidays and NatWest’s UK Storm Business Fund.
NatWest will also be taking part in Sedgemoor District Council’s Multi Agency Partnership Surgery at the Canalside Conference Centre, Marsh Lane, Bridgwater, on February 26, March 5 and March 12 between 6pm and 8pm. The events are designed for residents to be able to talk one-to-one to representatives from organisations providing help and support during the flooding.
The bank has announced that RBS and NatWest mortgage customers with flooded homes are able to apply for a three month mortgage repayment holiday.
And last month NatWest and RBS launched a £250m UK Storm Business Fund to help any viable business hit by the adverse weather, not just the bank’s own customers.
Loans can cover the cost of repairs and replacement stock to help businesses return to normal trading. Interest-free loans will be provided for three months, giving businesses the breathing space they need to get back on their feet.
A number of other emergency measures have been introduced by NatWest and RBS in addition to the UK Storm Business Fund, including repayment holidays on existing small business loans, temporary credit card limit increases, waiving of early withdrawal fees and termination costs for customers wishing to access deposits, and fast-track requests for temporary overdraft increases.
Businesses seeking finance from the UK Storm Business Fund will be subject to a maximum cap of £250k per loan.
Businesses affected by the adverse weather are advised to contact their NatWest relationship manager or call the UK Storms helpline on 0800 529 8544. Mortgage customers wishing to enquire about a repayment holiday can use the following dedicated number: 0800 408 0840.