I recently rocked up at the offices of NatWest in London with a camera crew in tow and set about asking their team what help, and support is available to any of their customers who were experiencing problems repaying their Bounce Back Loans.
Video at the foot of this page if you do want to read my preamble
Martin McTague from the Federation of Small Businesses and Nick Hardman from the Business Debt Line very generously volunteered their time and added their valuable input in this latest “Fireside Chat” as I like to call them, thanks guys it was very much appreciated.
You can view the video below, please watch it as many times as you need to and do digest the information contained within it.
Obviously, the help/advice/support offered in this video and the information provided by NatWest is relevant to customers of banks in their group, however it will give you an insight into what all the banks in that scheme SHOULD be offering their BBL customers who are experiencing problems repaying their Bounce Back Loans.
The latest industry wide BBL defaults and arrears figures are distressing, and if you are in a dark and alien place, be aware you are by no stretch of the imagination alone or forgotten and help and support is there if you wish to make use of it.
I am more than aware that some other BBL lenders are doing the absolute minimum when it comes to helping those in default or who are in arrears and are playing a weird little game when it comes to arrears/defaults, and by that, I mean that they are going quiet with their customers, bar sending out the odd text, email or making a phone call.
Their lack of support or action in turn leads to some of their customers with a BBL with those banks also keeping quiet as they feel no real effort is being made to recover the loans, and as such that behaviour by some banks is going unreported, as those banks just want to claim on the guarantee if someone does default in a quick and efficient way (for them). BUT that lack of action is highly distressing to some people as they are left in an unusual state of confusion, worry or worse.
You will know exactly which banks/lenders they are if you are with them and in arrears or default. More on that later.
A BIG thanks to the NatWest team Andrew, Hayden, and Chris, from our chats on and off camera I am of the mind that you are one of the banks that have been mentioned by Lord Agnew as being a shining beacon as to how BBL lenders should be offering extra help and support for their Bounce Back Loan customers who need it.
Any other Bank Bosses, Government Ministers, or perhaps Chancellors of the Exchequer out there that want to prove to me they are doing all they can to help and support those struggling to repay their BBL’s and not simply ignoring them and making them to suffer so your bank can bag the Government Guarantee with the minimum of effort, you know how to contact me. Challenge Set….
I did of course kick off in my own unique way at NatWest and most other banks in the scheme when the BBL scheme was live, for any and all failings of theirs that came to my attention, but that is how it was and my attention is now firmly on ensuring those with a BBL who are in financial distress are not messed about or their mental health takes an additional battering through these torrid times we are living through.
Anyway, I digress, back to the video, this is what NatWest can and will offer, please tune in and like I say, feel free to watch it as many times as you need to digest what is being said. If you do contact them asking for help and additional support regarding your Bounce Back Loan, and they do not live up to what is being said below, you let me know and I will get onto them so fast….!
Federation of Small Businesses