NatWest refuses to lend funds to pubs

By Gurjit Degun

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Bank Finance

Buck up Banks: MA campaign
Buck up Banks: MA campaign
NatWest has told a licensee that it does not have a "positive stance" towards lending to pubs. In an email seen by the Morning Advertiser, Julie...

NatWest has told a licensee that it does not have a "positive stance" towards lending to pubs.

In an email seen by the Morning Advertiser​, Julie Carmichael, of the Olde England at St Helens, Merseyside, was told: "As previously mentioned, this is not a sector that the bank have a positive stance towards... I am trying to piece together an application to a facility the bank do not normally lend to."

Carmichael said that she has been trying to secure a loan with NatWest for 10 weeks as her current loan with Carlsberg is restricting her from developing the business.

This follows reports that pubs have been denied finance from banks. When the issue first arose in 2009, the MA​ set up the Buck up Banks campaign. And last month, the banks pledged to lend £72bn to small businesses as part of Project Merlin.

Carmichael is not the first licensee to get in touch with the MA​ about banks' lending policies.

Jan Boyd, of the Clouds Hill pub in Wareham, Dorset, has also had problems securing finance from NatWest. She said: "They said they would not lend to us because it was a pub, and that it's the lower end of the market and high risk."

She has been banking with NatWest for 26 years.


Roger Cox, of the Bird in Hand in Reading, Berkshire, said he was told that it was "not HSBC's policy to lend to the pub trade" when he asked for a £3,000 overdraft in January.

Cox said: "The bank can see the funds going in on a regular basis, but when I mentioned that I run a pub/restaurant, the lady put away her papers and said 'it is our company policy not to lend to the pub trade and this bears no reflection on you personally'."

HSBC replied: "HSBC continues to lend to all sectors of the economy, including supporting pubs and restaurants. The bank did not take any Government funding and as such it has remained very much 'open for business' and has increased the amount it lends to small businesses each year since 2007."

MA contacted NatWest for comment, but received no reply at the time of going

to press.

Related topics Other operators

Property of the week


£ 60,000 - Leasehold

Busy location on coastal main road Extensively renovated detached public house Five trade areas (100)  Sizeable refurbished 4-5 bedroom accommodation Newly created beer garden (125) Established and popular business...

Follow us

Pub Trade Guides

View more