RBS Tops Up Small Business Support Fund, Downplays Brexit Effect

British state-controlled lender the Royal Bank of Scotland has doubled its funding pot to support small businesses to 6 billion pounds ($7.8 billion), but says the extra cash is no longer primarily for Brexit-proofing businesses, Reuters reported. NatWest, the biggest trading arm of RBS, said it had topped up its so-called Growth Fund in response to high demand from firms in industries including green energy and technology. The lender previously topped up the fund from 1 billion pounds to 3 billion pounds in October. It said at the time that it was doing so after identifying nearly 2,000 businesses it lent to that were likely to suffer payment or supply problems due to Britain’s exit from the European Union. Since then, Brexit has been repeatedly delayed amid deadlock in parliament and it is now unclear how Britain will leave the EU, if at all. Brexit remained a core driver behind expanding the fund, NatWest said, but stressed other factors. Read more