Banks launch charity fund

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RBS and NatWest have launched a new £5m Community Business Loan fund to support charities, social enterprises, co-operatives and community interest companies, who would not normally qualify for mainstream bank lending.

Eligible businesses can apply for loans of between £30,000 and £500,000. Community Development Finance Institutions, which distribute funds to other businesses, can apply for loans of between £200,000 and £1million.

All applicants must be investment ready in terms of management, governance and financial position. Start-ups as well as established businesses can apply. www.natwest.com/communitybusinessloan or www.rbs.co.uk/communitybusinessloan