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NatWest pledges £5bn to support SMEs NatWest has promised £5bn to support UK small and medium-sized businesses suffering from disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak. The funding will be used to provide loan repayment holidays of up to six months, as well as temporary emergency loans with no fees. Mike Cherry, national chairman of the Federation of Small Business, welcomed NatWest’s package but warned banks not to make the same mistakes they made after 2008 when they abused the trust of small businesses. Elsewhere, Barclays is offering its business clients 12-month capital repayment holidays on loans worth more than £25,000, as well as bigger overdrafts and access to a £14bn fund launched last year as part of a three-year commitment to small firms to build resilience during uncertain times.

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