"We have been proactively contacting our SME customers, starting with the industries we feel could be most impacted such as the leisure and hospitality sector. "
The Co-operative Bank has set out a package of measures to support SME customers during the coronavirus outbreak.
The Co-op has a current commitment to no arrangement fees for overdraft or loan facilities provided to SME customers.
The Bank says customers should contact them directly about temporary increases to lending or requests to pause or reduce current payment obligations, assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Donald Kerr, director of SME banking at The Co-operative Bank, said: “The Co-operative Bank is putting measures in place to help its SME customers manage their cash flow. We already have lending products available such as overdrafts, loans or charge cards however, we encourage customers to contact us directly about temporary increases or requests to pause or reduce current payment obligations. We are taking a flexible approach, based on the customer’s individual circumstances. We are also currently committed to no arrangement fees for overdraft or loan facilities provided to our SME customers as a result of coronavirus.
“We have been proactively contacting our SME customers, starting with the industries we feel could be most impacted such as the leisure and hospitality sector. While many have yet to see a significant change in circumstances, we know that new measures are likely to see an impact on profits. We will continue to review our processes based on these calls and our dedicated relationship managers are here to support all of our customers.
“We are also working closely with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) to ensure that c21,000 members who hold a bespoke FSB business banking account provided by The Co-operative Bank are getting as much support as they need. FSB has made advice, information and further support readily available online for members and our relationship managers are also sharing this with customers who they are supporting at this time.”