NatWest is launching a new lending platform for small businesses, providing clients with an individual pre-configured financing assessment viewable online and cutting the time taken for approval from 21 days to three minutes.
The bank has already pre-assessed half a million small business customers, who will have access to the platform when it is rolled out this summer, and will be making a total of £4bn in lending available to them.
Small businesses will no longer have to fill in any paper forms and the new system uses what the bank already knows about its customers, so they don’t have to fill in any information unnecessarily.
When customers log in to their online banking they will each immediately see how much they can borrow, up to a maximum limit of £35,000. Funds will be deposited within two days of approval.
As well as online, the platform also works across branch-based and telephone applications, abolishing previous channel-based silos in the lending process.
Marcelino Castrillo, managing director of business and private banking, says: “We want businesses to know we are open for lending, so rather than waiting for them to come to us, we will proactively show them how much they could borrow when they log in to their online banking.”