bank finance

Neil Bellamy, head of technology, media and telecomms at NatWest, explains how you can apply for business finance.

When considering your application for finance, there are four main sources that a bank or lender will take into consideration.

  1. The details you have provided on your application
  2. How you manage your bank accounts – both business and personal
  3. Information about you and your business from a Credit Reference Agency (CRA)
  4. Knowledge and assessment of your business from your Relationship Manager

Having your business plan and figures up to date and making sure you have all of the relevant supporting documents and information will help the application process go as smoothly as possible.

Once you have submitted all of the relevant information, there are three categories that your application can be assigned:

1. Awaiting information

The most common reason for your application status to be ‘Awaiting Information’ is that you are lacking some of the key information required to evaluate the lending application. That’s why it’s important to prepare all information and documentation before starting the process so your bank/lender has everything needed.

In some cases, additional information will be needed and you’ll be contacted separately to supply this. 

2. Approved

Should your application be approved you bank/lender will let you know the good news and if you haven’t already signed all the required forms you’ll be able to do so either in a branch or through the post.

You may also need to fulfil any additional steps such as security if required.

3. Declined

Unfortunately, as much as we want to help businesses, 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.

How to appeal

Of course, if you’re not happy with the final lending decision you can appeal.

You can appeal a decision for both declined and accepted business borrowing decisions. An accepted borrowing decision can be appealed if there are conditions that have been applied to you in a way that you feel is unfair.

For example, if you feel that the security requirements, covenants, loan duration, product type, pre-conditions and repayment schedules are unjust in any way, you have the right to appeal against these within 30 days of the decision being communicated.

To be eligible to appeal a decision you must ensure:

  • You have made a request to NatWest for borrowing
  • You or your business isn’t subject to formal demand, enforcement or legal proceedings
  • Your annual business turnover is up to £25m
  • The appeal does not relate to the costs of borrowing, agreed fees or standard terms applied by the Bank to the Borrowing Agreement

If your appeal doesn’t fall under the guidelines above, then you may want to make a formal complaint and you also have the right to refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service.