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NatWest announces new partnership to boost SME lending

NatWest has launched a new partnership with Soldo, a pre-paid company card provider for small businesses, which will allow two of the bank’s ventures, Esme Loans and Rapid Cash, to be offered directly to Soldo’s customers, as the bank aims to increase lending to UK SMEs throughout 2020.

Soldo is a multi-user business expenses solution including Mastercard prepaid cards, a mobile user app and web console. Suitable for businesses of all sizes, it automates expense reporting while giving businesses complete control over how and where employees and departments can spend company money.

Through the new partnership, Soldo users will be able to apply for swift business loans of up to £250,000 via Esme Loans; or choose to borrow up to £500,000 as a flexible line of credit against unpaid invoices via Rapid Cash. Both services will be available directly from within its desktop app, offering quick and simple access to business lending. The partnership follows Rapid Cash’s integration with cloud-based accountancy software provider Xero in November, and is the latest fintech that Esme Loans has joined forces with over the past 12 months.

The partnership supports NatWest’s aim to support growth of UK SMEs with business lending in 2020, following confirmation last November that the lender had extended its growth fund to support small businesses to £8.2billion to help businesses grow, fund green initiatives and navigate the current uncertain business climate.

Andy Ellis, Head of NatWest Ventures said: “As one of the UK’s biggest banks for SMEs, we’re extremely keen to work with anyone that offers a unique, simple experience that makes it easier for our customers to run and grow their business. Soldo is a partner who do exactly that, whilst sharing our passion to do things differently for UK SMEs. We’re thrilled to be working with them.”

The announcement marks the latest in a string of recent partnerships the bank has struck with tech providers to broaden and improve its digital offering. Last year, Microsoft, Amazon and IBM were among the businesses which the lender teamed up with as it continues to invest in technology to support its 17million personal and business customers across the UK.


This article is for media use only and is not a financial promotion.
For business loans, security may be required in the form of a director's guarantee. Over 18’s only.
Esme Loans targets UK SMEs with a turnover of over £15k per annum.
Businesses need to be sole traders or Limited Companies and to have been trading for a minimum of 18 months.
Unsecured loans for Sole Traders are from £25,500 and the loan must be for business purposes only. Loans for Limited Companies amounts are from £10,000 and the loan must be for business purposes only.
Upper limit of all loans is £250k.
Applicants must be a sole trader or Director of a UK Limited company and registered with Companies House for 18 months (limited companies only).
Applicants must be 18 years or over and be a UK resident.

To be eligible for Rapid Cash businesses need to have been trading for a minimum of 6 months and have an annual turnover of at least of £100k.
Businesses need to be Limited Companies or Limited Liability Partnerships in the UK.
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