UK bank NatWest has launched a digital platform that lets small and medium sized businesses quickly apply for and obtain unsecured loans of up to £150,000.
The platform, dubbed Esme Loans, has been developed by the bank at is innovation unit with fintech firm Ezbob as a direct response to the emergence of specialist direct and P2P lending platforms, says NatWest.
The technology promises to give SMEs - whether NatWest customers or not - a fast decision on funding, with successful applicants getting their money in as little as an hour.
Alison Rose, CEO, commercial and private banking, NatWest, says: "Esme will offer SMEs a quick decision and almost instant funding, allowing those customers to go on and do what they do best - run a business.
"Through Capital Connections, our panel of five P2P and alternative lenders, we’ve already broadened choices for customers but we wanted to go one step further and create our own alternative lending platform."