Lending money | Royal Bank of Scotland


Business meeting
What RBS looks for when lending money

When attempting to get a business off the ground, or looking to expand your current operations, getting finance is crucial. Nearly every business will require a cash injection at some point, but it’s not quite as simple as asking for a lump sum and then having it transferred to your bank account. Before accepting a loan request, lenders will need assurance that you have the ability to repay the amount, and that they can trust you to keep up with payments over a prolonged period of time.   

How does credit scoring work?

Whether you're a new business looking for start-up funding or a growing business needing funds for expansion, when you apply for funding a bank will try to build up a picture of your personal and business circumstances.

Along with your financial history, this will help them assess the application alongside any business plan and cashflow projections. You can learn more about the process using the credit scoring guide.

Credit_Scoring_Guide (PDF, 1MB)
Add your signposting title here… Credit rating

A credit rating is one of those things you’ve most definitely heard of, but may not fully understand. Quite simply, a credit rating is an estimate of your ability to fulfil financial commitments, based on your history of spending, earning, and repaying debts in a timely manner. You credit score is a bit like a fiscal CV; it’s a record of past achievements, and an indicator of how you’re likely to perform in the future.

The method for calculating an individual’s credit score differs from lender to lender, but the basic approach is uniform; if you are financially reliable, you are more likely to be accepted for a loan. If your rating is poor, then you risk either being rejected, or being offered the amount you’ve requested at a higher interest rate.

How to improve your credit rating
Add your signposting title here… Improving your credit rating

If you’re worried about your credit rating being a barrier when it comes to asking for money, there are some very simple ways to improve it.

  • Consistently pay all bills on time
  • Close accounts associated with unused credit cards, direct debits and mobile phone contracts
  • Get yourself registered on the electoral roll
  • If you don't have a credit card, get one. Make a couple of small purchases with it each month, and repay the balance on time
  • Pay off more debts and, if possible, pay more than just the minimum amount allowed
  • Don't fudge the numbers. Refrain from taking liberties with the truth, as this could damage your reputation in the long term
Add your signposting title here… Loans

When applying for a business loan, you’ll need to provide some information so we know you are who you say you are. Below are the key pieces of information we'll need from you:

  • Already banking with us? Be able to provide year-end account, ideally for the last 24 months, as well as tax returns, and business bank account statement spanning the last six months. It will also help your case if you’re able to provide proof of assets and debts, so we can correctly evaluate your financial situation
  • Brand new customer? If you have no evidence of past financial performance, don’t fret. You can still secure a loan even if it’s your very first business venture. However, we will need to know what your proposed venture is, and how you intend to earn money. It would also be useful if you could bring along a detailed business plan, as well as a cash flow forecast, so we can understand your projected incomings and outgoings
Security may be required. Product fees may apply. Over 18s only.
Any property used as security, which may include your home, may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on a loan or other debt secured on it.
More about applying for a loan
Credit cards

If your business is registered in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man or Gibraltar, or you’re registered for tax purposes in one of these jurisdictions, you may be able to get our Business Credit Card. You must also be a UK resident, and at least 18 years old.

With our credit card, you’ll get:

  • Up to 45 days’ interest free on purchases if you pay your balance in full
  • A range of online tools to help you track incomings and outgoings
  • Up to £50,000 worth of cover automatically if you pay for overseas business travel using our Business Credit Card
  • Fraud protection when using the card to make online purchases

For new businesses, we will waive the annual fee of £32 for the first year you have the card. 

The NatWest Business Credit Card is for UK businesses only. Subject to status, for business use only.

Asset finance

To run a business, you’ll more than likely need equipment. Whether you need vehicles, machinery or computers, asset finance could be the way to go. We work with Lombard – the market leader in asset finance – to offer finance to acquire assets key to your business. We can also release cash tied up in existing assets, and provide financing options to enable you to claim Annual Investment Allowances so that you may recoup part of your investment in eligible assets through tax savings.  

More about asset finance


A business overdraft could help you boost cash flow when it matters, or when an unexpected cost comes along. With an agreed limit, as long as you have the available funds, you decide when you want to use it.

If you're planning on switching to us and already have a business overdraft with your current bank, we'll do our best to match their terms when you move your accounts.

For start-up businesses that have opened a Business Current account with us, we may offer a £500 overdraft without any arrangement fees for the first year. A fixed interest rate of 6.5% will be charged for the initial agreement period (subject to status).

Security may be required. Product fees may apply. Over 18s only. Any property used as security, which may include your home, may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or other debt secured on it.

What can we do for you?

Applying for money is a big deal. Putting yourself in a position where you owe funds is something many people find daunting, which is why we want to make the entire process as simple and stress-free as possible. 

Flexible funding

Our Business Credit Card helps you control your cash flow, and means you can benefit from up to 45 days’ interest-free credit purchases

Money management

Our online tools can help you keep track of your business expenses, see your business accounts in real time, and view 13 months’ worth of transactions and statements online

Financial healthcheck

A free face-to-face review with your business relationship manager to discuss your business needs, goals, and plans for the future

Peace of mind

Our Business Credit Card is covered when you sign up for NatWest Secure, giving you protection against fraud when making online purchases

Business Growth Enablers

Enhance your business connections, increase your skillset, boost your knowledge in specialist subjects, and attend events in your local area to help your business grow

Just ask

If there’s anything you want to know, then just ask. We’re here to help you make informed decisions that will help your business stand the test of time

After we make a decision

We will contact you to let you know our decision, then follow this up with a formal letter. Depending on the outcome, we may then just need a few simple forms signed.

  • Awaiting information: The most common reason for your application status to be 'Awaiting Information’ is that we are lacking some of the key information we require to evaluate the lending application. For larger or more complex lending, it may be that your application is waiting on assets to be secured. This may involve legal complexities and solicitors
  • Declined: We can’t approve all requests for lending. If we have not been able to approve your application, you can request to know the main reason why it has been unsuccessful. There may be a number of reasons why this is the case and you should discuss it with your relationship manager to find out if anything can be done to improve your chances of future success. We will then discuss this with you to find out if there are alternative options both through the bank and other schemes, which may provide funding
  • Approved: Should your application be approved, we will let you know the good news. If you haven’t already signed all the required forms, we can arrange for you to either sign them in branch or have them emailed or posted to you. Once we receive everything we need, the money will be transferred to your account
  • Appealing: We’re committed to supporting small and medium-sized enterprises by making credit and working capital facilities available to viable businesses. As part of this commitment, we provide a transparent and open appeals process for customers who feel that a formal credit application has been unfairly declined. All appeals will be reviewed by our independent appeals team, who will make sure that the appropriate information was correctly factored into the original decision


What next?

Find out more about our business loans

Our business loans

Read about options for funding your business

Funding options
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