NatWest's bridge-over loan to encourage R&D investment

The NatWest bank is launching a new loan service aimed at helping technology businesses investing in research and development. In its essence, it is a bridge-over loan which tries to make the access to the Government’s R&D Tax Credit Scheme easier and more accessible.

That way, NatWest hopes it will encourage a wider use of the Government’s program.

Through the Government’s R&D tax credit scheme, businesses can claim thousands of pounds of cash back, allowing them to either reinvest or replenish their cash flow (or to do pretty much anything else). NatWest says, citing a HMRC report, that 90 per cent of the 150,000 scheme-eligible companies don’t claim, as they think the process is too slow or complicating.

Now, NatWest offers a bridge-loan to simplify the process.

“There are a huge amount of businesses who could be taking advantage of this scheme – potentially missing out on thousands of pounds,” said Neil Bellamy, Head of Technology, Media and Telecoms (TMT) at NatWest.

“Some businesses are worried that the process is too complicated. And others have said they could accelerate their business if they could have access to the cash at the point when they submit their claim. That is where we come in. We aim to have cash with businesses rapidly – allowing them to reinvest in their business or replenish cash flow. “We hope this new offering will help encourage businesses to take advantage of the scheme alongside the government’s Advanced Assurance initiative, launched in November 2015.”

The loan is available to customers and non-customers in the UK, primarily in the manufacturing and technology sectors.