NatWest Group, the biggest bank for UK business, has partnered with StepChange, the UK’s largest debt charity, to offer its SME customers an independent debt advice service which will launch later this month.
The bank has donated £2million to the charity to fund a dedicated team, which will have access to a range of options, designed to support business customers struggling with their finances, amidst the rising cost of living.
The new team will offer appointments to business customers who the bank feels would benefit from debt advice, where an advisor will explore the customer’s situation and agree next steps. These range from completing full debt advice, to referral to a specialist such as a tax accountant.
StepChange will then support the customer through the next stages of their journey, where appropriate, and help support the ongoing relationship between the bank and its customers.
Alison Rose, CEO, NatWest Group said:
“Our priority is always to support customers who are facing financial difficulties in a sympathetic and collaborative way, and we have a skilled and experienced team who do that every day. However, we recognise that there are instances where customers would benefit from speaking with an independent advisor, particularly where debts are spread across multiple lenders.
“We are proud to be partnering with StepChange to help fund this new team who will support our business customers who need that additional level of support.”
Phil Andrew, CEO, StepChange said:
“We’re delighted to be working with NatWest to support their business customers with additional help from an impartial, expert debt advice perspective, when this is appropriate to their needs. By being referred to StepChange, NatWest’s customers will have access to a high quality, dedicated team whose sole focus will be on helping them, with their bank’s support.
“Debt is something that can affect absolutely anyone, and what’s important is having easy access to good services at a time of need. Through this service we aim to establish a realistic pathway for customers to address their problems and restore their personal financial health, and we look forward to working with them.”