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Another Way, Another First for NatWest Small Businesses.

LONDON, August 26 /PRNewswire/ -- NatWest today launches a brand new Offset Banking Service for Business which will allow many small business customers to offset the balances on their business current and savings accounts to help pay off their personal mortgage. NatWest is the first high street bank to make such a facility available and it could save the country's small businesses thousands of pounds in interest payments and see them pay off their mortgages years earlier.

For example, a small business customer with a NatWest Offset Flexible Mortgage of GBP100,000, business savings of GBP6,000 and an average business current account balance of GBP3,200 for the duration of the mortgage, would save almost GBP21,000 and repay the mortgage over three years earlier than somebody with the same mortgage without business offsetting. So, rather than earning interest on their credit balances, business customers choose instead not to pay interest on the equivalent amount of their personal mortgage.

The NatWest Offset Flexible Mortgage is a variable rate mortgage currently at a rate of 5.65%, with a 1% discount for the first three months. Customers can make lump sum reductions and overpayments each month without charge and can also request to underpay and take payment holidays.

The new service is open to sole traders and simple partnerships and to keep matters simple, all accounts held within NatWest Offset Banking for Business remain separate so customers continue to use them independently of each other. Account numbers, standing orders and direct debits all remain the same and customers still receive their separate statements as usual.

Benny Higgins, Chief Executive of NatWest Retail Banking, said: "Small businesses are the lifeblood of the country and our service is based around building strong relationships and providing our customers with innovative products and services that will best help them prosper. The obvious savings here, both in terms of money and time, simply by letting customers' separate personal and business accounts 'talk' to each other, will be significant."

Today also sees NatWest launch Offset Banking for personal customers allowing them to offset the balances on their personal current and savings accounts in exactly the same way, helping them save time and money in paying back their personal mortgage.

The service also offers a Money Manager facility which not only helps small businesses keep control of their finances but also makes it easier for them to avoid going overdrawn, as long as they have sufficient funds in their business savings accounts. Money Manager moves money into a customer's business current account when they need it or moves funds into a customer's business savings account when they don't.

Notes to Editors:

- For more information, customers can call free on +44-0800-068-0563, contact their local NatWest branch or speak to a Business Manager.

- For simple partnerships, all accounts within Offset Banking for Business must be in the name of the two partners.

- Sole traders can offset their business accounts against a mortgage that they hold in joint names.

Enquiries to: Ronan Kelleher, NatWest Media Relations, Tel: +44-020-7672-1926, E-mail:
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 26, 2004
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