For the latest information and guidance on the Service Charity Sector and the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, please click here

NatWest support to the charity sector

NatWest is supporting the charity sector through the coronavirus outbreak through a number of initiatives. We’re closely monitoring the situation, with the following information reflecting our current position; new information is being made available as it comes in.

For our not-for-profit customers in the charity sector, as with all NatWest business customers, a broad package of financial support has been put in place. Support relevant to the charity sector includes:

  • Capital repayment holidays for existing loan facilities to help customers reduce the impact on their working capital.
  • Fee free overdraft facilities up to £5,000.
  • Opening up the Government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) to more customers, that are eligible under the scheme rules, than any other Bank. The minimum loan size that NatWest offers under the CBILS scheme is £5,000, which is lower than many other banks. Maximum loan size is £5 million.  To be eligible, organisations must have an annual turnover of no more than £45 million.
  • Confirming that the bank will not take personal guarantees from any customer that obtains funding through the CBILS scheme before the Government instructed all banks and lenders to do so.
  • We are participating in the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)  for medium sized to large businesses with Group annual turnover of more than £45 million.

It’s important that charities are aware that the charity sector is eligible for CBILS and CLBILS.

More information on the support NatWest is providing to its customers impacted by coronavirus is available on the NatWest website. Access to financial support depends on eligibility.

Further Information on CBILS and CLBILS can be found on the British Business Bank website* and wider coronavirus government support for businesses can be found on gov.uk*.

Information on how to access the government support scheme for larger firms, the COVID Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF), can be found on the Bank of England’s website*.

Hugh Biddell, Head of Charities and Not-for-Profit, NatWest said:

We are here to support our customers and we want to make sure we get the help to those who need it. We understand the challenges that charities and not-for-profits are facing during this unprecedented time and we are supporting the sector with financial support, but also with further initiatives to help charities who are playing their part in supporting people and families during this crisis.”

Summary of wider support Clubs and Societies

To support the small volunteer led sector of Clubs & Societies, we are working with membership bodies to understand specific challenges and meeting those needs with alternative sources of funding. We are urgently prioritising digital solutions to give our club and society customers access to banking tools that will meet their needs, for example, tools such as FreeAgent and Bankline for Communities. Bankline for Communities is our new digital offering (currently in pilot phase) designed to help clubs and societies make payments digitally where two signatures are required to authorise, and also allows you to make changes to signature mandates digitally, without the need for signatories to come into a branch.

Matching donations to provide £5m to National Emergencies Trust

NatWest is providing up to £5m to the National Emergencies Trust Covid-19 appeal (NET). Donations to NET made by NatWest customers via their Reward account balance, will be topped up on a matched basis up to £5m until the end of June 2020 to make a total of £10m.

Social and Community Capital

Social & Community Capital, a charity and responsible lender funded and supported by NatWest to help social enterprises and community businesses is supporting its customers through:

  • Loan capital and interest repayment holidays
  • Contacting all customers to understand their issues and talk about how the bank can help
  • Immediate provision of £500k to be available as grants, with the potential for further grant funds if required in the coming months
  • Planning support and mentors for each customer.

NatWest Social and Community Capital is also signatory on a joint letter signed by 28 Social Investors* to show commitment to work collectively and with urgency to help provide flexibility where it is needed and develop new funding programmes. Support available via Good Finance UK includes information on the funds and programmes, support from infrastructure bodies and membership organisations, news and guidance. See the Good Finance Covid-19 Resource Hub* for more information.

Head office has become a food distribution centre

The Bank’s head office’s Conference Centre in Gogarburn is a distribution centre for Trussell Trust food banks and Social Bite charity. We are supporting the Trussell Trust and its network of food banks in Scotland, and Social Bite, a charity which is aiming to provide 4,000 food packs a day over the next three months for vulnerable people in Scotland, in sourcing and distributing much-needed food and hygiene supplies.

Coutts support

Coutts are contacting their clients to highlight the impact of coronavirus on charities and asking them to consider making further donations to help charities survive and continue to provide their support where it is most needed. If clients wish to give quickly outside the charities they usually support, Coutts are making them aware that they can do so via the National Emergencies Trust Covid-19 appeal. If clients wish to ring-fence their donation to a specific geography, they can make a pledge directly to their local Community Foundation*. Coutts are also letting clients know that if they wish to donate to a specific charity, Crowdfunder* is a simple and quick way to do so. Crowdfunder is offering free crowdfunding campaigns to directly support charities.

Support for vulnerable customers and NHS

To help make sure our most vulnerable customers get access to the support they need as quickly as possible; we’ve set up a dedicated customer care line. Aimed specifically at customers most in need, including those over 70, who don’t have access to digital channels. We have also introduced the new Companion Card – a supplement to existing current accounts that will enable vulnerable customers and those in extended isolation to give trusted volunteers a way to pay for their essential goods. We have set up an emergency customer care line for NHS workers.

Free access to MentorLive

Through our NatWest Mentor service, we’re offering free access to MentorLive, an online compliance management system where you will find a range of tools, templates and guidance to help you identify key priorities and take specific actions to mitigate the impact of coronavirus on your people and your business. For more information, visit our MentorLive website.

Advice on protecting your organisation from fraudsters

Fraudsters are exploiting the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus to attempt a variety of scams and cybercrime. Our online Security Centre has information on how to protect your business from the latest threats.

Insight and advice on the NatWest Business Hub

This hub is designed to help businesses by providing insight and advice across all sectors, with all relevant content on coronavirus insights in one place, here.

NatWest partners with the Prince’s Trust to launch £5million relief fund for young entrepreneurs

The Prince’s Trust and NatWest have announced the launch of a £5million fund to help young entrepreneurs across the UK to keep their businesses afloat during the coronavirus crisis. The Prince’s Trust and NatWest Enterprise Grant Fund is available to entrepreneurs aged 18-30, who can apply for grants and tailored support. To be eligible, businesses must have started up in the last four years and be run by someone aged 18 to 30. Young people who are in the process of starting a business and don’t have any other source of income during the crisis are also eligible to apply for a grant. More information on how to apply can be found on the Prince’s Trust website*.

*Natwest are not responsible for the content of external websites.

Download the full document here.

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The Service Charity Sector and the coronavirus outbreak

For the latest information and guidance on the Service Charity Sector and the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, please click here