13th February 2014

In the past weeks we have been saddened to watch the damage and heartbreak that the incessant storms and flooding have caused.

The appalling weather has hit our communities hard – homes have been destroyed and livelihoods wrecked.

NatWest has introduced various measures to help any business owner – not just our own customers – who has been impacted by the storms, as well as homeowners who have a mortgage with us.

In addition, as a team based here in the South West Natwest felt they needed to do something practical to try to help. So they approached Yeovil Town with the idea of staging a match-day collection and we were delighted to help.

At Tuesday’s match against Watford you’ll see staff from NatWest’s business, commercial and retail divisions out in force with collection buckets along with colleagues from Lombard, the asset finance arm of RBS.

We want to see everyone dig deep in aid of our neighbours and friends who are suffering because of the weather.

Donations will go to Somerset Community Foundation’s Somerset Flood Relief Fund, and NatWest will match the money raised this evening.

Natwest will also be operating special late-night opening at their 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 19, 20, 26 and 27, with advice on hand about support we have put in place, including mortgage repayment holidays, and NatWest’s UK Storm Business Fund.

As part of their measures to help customers hit by the bad weather, 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 their 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.

Natwest have already seen a number of businesses take up the support on offer from the UK Storm Business Fund, but we want to make sure that advice is available on the doorsteps of some of those most badly hit.

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.

If you know a business which has been affected by the adverse weather and needs a helping hand on the road to recovery then please encourage them to contact their NatWest relationship manager, pop into one of our local branches 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.