Most banks are maintaining that it is business as usual, as far as possible, and that they are here to support their customers throughout these unprecedented times. Several of the major British banks have set-up dedicated Covid-19 helplines for their customers to call for guidance and information. Business owners should look to take advantage of all the support available to them and take the opportunity to speak to their lenders about concerns they have.
Proactive, regular communication with lenders is recommended. If you are predicting a down-turn in trade or your cash-flow projections reveal a potential liquidity issue in the next couple of months, it is best to speak to your bank as soon as possible to discuss the potential impact on your business. The quicker you raise any concerns, the better chance you might have to get the flexibility that your business might need over the coming months. It may also afford you more time to discuss a range of options and solutions.
Banks and mortgage lenders have also voluntarily agreed to offer customers three month-payment holidays. Businesses should look to take advantage of this where it is felt their business will benefit, therefore discuss this with your bank at the earliest opportunity.
Keep in touch with your bank as much as possible over the next few months and talk to us if you need a sounding board to discuss your lending and cash-flow needs, or to assist with producing any information requested from your bank. The banks, together with the Government and your advisers are here to help whilst we’re all in this together.