Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and NatWest have committed £1bn to make new loans available on competitive, flexible terms to UK manufacturing businesses.
The specifically dedicated fund, which will also give the option to defer repayments for up to three years, has been launched in response to feedback from customers in the sector who are anticipating growing demand for their products during 2010 and beyond.
Data published last week provide evidence for cautious optimism in a sector which, with nearly 168,000 manufacturing companies employing more than 2.5m people, has a significant role to play in the UK economy.
Commenting on the initiative, Peter Ibbetson, chairman of business banking at NatWest and RBS, was reported to say:
“As we see many of our manufacturing customers turning their thoughts to investment in order to drive competitiveness, we want to send a clear message of support to them by creating a fund that is designed specifically to enable that investment”.