Practical steps for your business
Cash flow and working capital
Businesses may experience disruption to their supply chain, as stock availability may drop, and lead times increase. In turn, this could impact raw material, stock and component prices. Businesses may need to seek alternative sources. New suppliers unfamiliar with their buyers may need advance payment, or bank guarantees.
How we could help
NatWest has pledged £5bn of working capital support for SMEs during the coronavirus outbreak. We have a range of solutions that could help manage your trading risks and provide tailored funding to help your supply chain remain healthy. For businesses experiencing a significant reduction in cash flow and income, we may be able to offer loan repayment holidays and/or temporary emergency loans with no fees.
Keeping cash flow moving is essential and our Invoice financing solutions can help you release cash from unpaid invoices. This includes our Rapid Cash* solution. Trade Loans can provide cash earlier in your contract cycle to help pay your suppliers. Trade Loans don't have to be repaid until your customer pays you.
Asset Finance could help future proof your business by providing tailored funding so your business can invest or release working capital for greater automation or efficiency.
When markets become volatile, ensuring that you get paid (or if you are the buyer – you receive what you ordered on time), becomes even more important. We have a range of Trade Finance Instruments to help. From Letters of Credit – helping to minimise the risk of non-payment or late payment; to Bonds and Guarantees which can be tailored to any contract and ensure promises are kept between buyers and sellers across international borders and when undertaking UK trade. Visit our International Trade Hub or speak to your Relationship Manager to find out more.
*To be eligible for Rapid Cash, businesses need to have been trading for six months or more and have an annual turnover of at least £100k. Businesses need to be Limited Companies or Limited Liability Partnerships in the UK. With NatWest Rapid Cash you can borrow against your unpaid invoices and get a flexible line of credit from £25k to £500k. We don’t charge any setup or monthly fees for limits up to £300k. For limits above £300k an arrangement fee will apply.
Exchange rates and international payments
Consider reducing exposure to exchange-rate fluctuations and simplify international payments.
Delays in shipments can cause uncertainty over the timing of foreign currency payments. Businesses may face diminishing confidence forecasting revenue and costs.
Short term supply chain disruptions can also result in changes to foreign currency exposure.
How we could help
We could help you with your potential foreign currency needs, giving you access to the majority of the most commonly traded currencies in international markets.
You may be experiencing supply chain disruption. We can work with you to realign payments with revised cash flow, potentially adding flexibility to manage timing or currency uncertainty.
International Cash Management and International Payments
We could help you establish new banking relationships through our Partner Bank network, operating in 36 countries across EMEA, APAC and the Americas, to help simplify your payments.
Protect yourself and others
Follow Public Health England (PHE) precautions to help prevent the spread of infection. Consider increasing the amount of cleaning on surfaces such as desks, keyboards, door handles with an anti-bacterial solution. Have hand sanitiser gel available for your staff and customers to use.
Advise employees and contractors to consult national travel advice before going on business trips.
Employees should self-isolate when returning from high risk areas, even if they are not experiencing any symptoms.
Certifying absence from work: medical evidence is not required for the first 7 days of sickness (source: Gov.uk). After 7 days, it is for the employer to determine what evidence they require.
Statutory sick pay is available from day one when self-isolating, instead of day four.
How we could help
The NatWest Mentor* service is your expert in employment law & HR, health & safety and environmental management. We may be able to provide you with the consultancy and advice needed to help your business.
*Mentor services incur a cost.
Create a business continuity plan (BCP)
Identify essential operations and make plans if employee absence is a threat. Confirm the chain of command and back-ups for critical roles.
Review if IT infrastructure can support an increase in remote work and extra technology requirements, such as video or digital telephonic software.
Create an internal communications plan to ensure that BCP updates and changes are communicated in real-time.
Have a disaster recovery plan in place with a framework to ensure continuity of operations if primary physical space is unavailable.
Assess the risk level of any vendors or other parties that your business depends on and gather confirmation from critical vendors that they have a robust BCP and can deploy as needed.
Identify if you may have any potential constraints on working capital, funding or future payments.
How we could help
If you have any concern about funding or payment, please contact us to discuss. We may be able to offer support.