Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has given business customers another six months to switch their accounts to other banks under the terms of its financial crisis state aid package.
RBS said fewer customers have used the Incentivised Switching Scheme to swap banks during the pandemic. As a result the deadline for switching applications will be pushed by six months, from 25 August 2020 to the end of February 2021.
An extra 200,000 RBS and Natwest business banking customers with a turnover of up to £1m will also be able to apply to switch inside that period, RBS said.
Customers would have until 30 June 2021 to complete the switch.
“As a result of the on-going Covid-19 pandemic, fewer customers have been switching under ISS and these changes are being announced by the Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) to preserve the momentum and aims of the ISS.
“Bringing forward these changes now, which might otherwise have been implemented at a later date, provides RBS with greater certainty.”
“These amendments to the ISS do not change the total number of customers targeted to switch under the scheme,” RBS added. “As a result, there is no material change anticipated to the current financial outlook for RBS.”
At most the bank may have to contribute another £50m to the ISS if the number of business customers switching proves insufficient.
The ISS scheme could end early if the BCR distributes the £225m fund for business current account switching before February 2021.