How your bank can support you during the coronavirus crisis
This pandemic has imposed an unprecedented level of disruption and uncertainty for all SMEs and indeed the entire economy. While there remains a great deal of uncertainty ahead, the Government has shown that it is prepared to offer significant support to help businesses and the UK economy weather the storm. Barely weeks into the job and the new Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has announced a range of different support packages to keep businesses going during these turbulent times. This includes new lending facilities for SMEs through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), which Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank is participating in. This support will be crucial in ensuring that what is hopefully a temporary disruption brings as little lasting economic damage as possible.
CBILS provides loan facilities of up to £5m for (smaller) businesses across the UK with up to £45m turnover who are experiencing lost or deferred revenues, leading to disruptions to their cashflow. These loans will be interest free for the first 12 months and at Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank, we have also taken the decision that no customer will need to make capital repayments during at least the first six months.
In these exceptional circumstances it is really important to get financial support to them as quickly as possible and in the best ways to meet their needs. There are a range of measures banks have put in place to support businesses in addition to the measures the Government is putting in place.
At Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank, our relationship managers can approve a three-month capital repayment holiday to business customers who have not previously been identified as being in or approaching financial difficulty, or other high-risk groups. This will help them to manage cashflows during the current emergency. As an expression of confidence and support for customers, our relationship managers also now have authority to extend overdraft and loan facilities by up to six months without charge.
We are monitoring not only the impact of the Coronavirus, but also the general economic outlook to make sure we are offering customers our full support and advice. True, the outlook for 2020 is not what we expected, but we are all moving and adapting to the changing environment at pace.
I have been speaking to customers both in the region and across the UK. I know that last year was a tough year and unfortunately there are a whole lot of new challenges in 2020. However, with the right planning and support, we are optimistic about businesses’ ability to weather the storm over the longer term. Billions has been pledged to combat the impact of the coronavirus, and here at Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank we continue to focus on how we can best support the businesses we work with through this extremely challenging time.
We will get through this together.