Coronavirus | Ulster Bank

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Coronavirus

We’re committed to supporting our customers who may be affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Call waiting times

 

We're receiving extremely high volumes of calls. Please only call us if you need urgent assistance.

 

How to contact us

 

If your business has been affected by coronavirus, our teams are here to support you.

Read our coronavirus guide for practical steps you can take to help your business, and how we can help.

That support may include:

  • Capital repayment holidays - contact your Relationship Manager. If you don't have a Relationship Manager please apply online.
  • Temporary new and increased overdrafts - register for a call back (opens in your email client).
  • Immediate access to deposit balances with no penalty
  • Temporary emergency loans with no fees

For urgent requests regarding funding requirements, contact us via our webpage.

We’ve also announced £350m of Working Capital Support for businesses that will see disruption as a result of COVID-19.

We have operational resilience plans in place that reflect guidance from Public Health Authorities. This will ensure we can continue to serve you.

Add your signposting title here… Government scheme for businesses affected by coronavirus

The chancellor has announced a £330bn package of government-backed, and guaranteed loans to support businesses affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Learn more about the scheme

Supporting you through difficult times

 

We're currently receiving an unprecedented volume of calls. We know many of you need our help more than ever. We're focusing our efforts to support you.

Although our team has reduced capacity currently, we're working to add more resource. Therefore, we're asking you not to call us unless you're in need of urgent, immediate help.

On this page you'll find answers to common questions, plus practical advice and useful links.

It’s taking us longer to process applications at this time. Please bear with us. Thanks for your understanding and patience.

 

How to contact us:

 

We’re still here to support you with other ways to bank. If your enquiry isn’t urgent, you may prefer to use one of these options:   

  • If you have Bankline, Anytime Internet Banking or our mobile app this will be the quickest way to complete your banking with us.
  • If you have a query about something that can’t be answered online then please use 24/7 secure messaging through Anytime Internet Banking or our mobile app.
  • For other non borrowing general queries contact us at getintouch@ulsterbank.com

If you wish to get in touch:

  • Talk to your Relationship Manager
  • Talk to our Business Development Managers 
  • Call Ulster Business Banking on 0345 366 5592 (+44 2890 538459 from overseas) or 18001 0345 366 5592 for Relay UK but please bear in mind wait times will be much longer than normal

 

Questions your business may have about coronavirus:

Financial support

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Icon expand My supply chain and/or cash flow has been affected. What can you offer?

Contact your Relationship Manager, local Business Development Manager or get in touch via email.

For our larger commercial and corporate customers, we can help hedge your Foreign Exchange and Interest Rate risks and assist with managing changing cash flows.

We are also ready to help you manage delay and disruption to your supply chains. Possible solutions include Supply Chain Finance (eligibility criteria applies, security may be required. Over 18s only), working capital facilities and short to medium term debt facilities.

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Icon expand I have business insurance. How can I find out what is covered?

Check what cover you have with your Business Insurance provider. The financial impact of the virus might be uninsurable. But ‘denial of access’ cover may be available if you cannot get to one of your properties and this affects your business. This is often sub-limited in a policy so make sure to check this.

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Icon expand Who is best to speak with to get advice on tax?

Talk to HMRC about managing payments. You can set up a ‘time to pay’ agreement to delay debt collection. They have a Coronavirus Helpline. Call 0800 015 955 for further info.

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Icon expand What other financial help can I get?

The government will provide funding to help small businesses that already pay little or no business rates. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 for 700,000 small businesses to help meet ongoing business costs. Local authorities will provide the funding. We will update you here when we know how businesses can apply.

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Icon expand What type of businesses are covered under Business Rates Relief?

The government will not charge business rates on companies in retail, leisure and hospitality sectors in the 2020 to 2021 financial year. This includes hotels, restaurants and coffee shops. There’s also a £5k business rates discount for pubs with a rateable value below £100k in England.

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Icon expand What support are you able to offer me if I'm struggling financially?

Our Relationship Managers and Business Banking team are here to offer help to mitigate the impact of coronavirus.

Our support package includes:

  • An extension of £350m to the fund providing working capital support to meet the needs of SMEs
  • Capital repayment holidays on Loans
  • Temporary emergency loans with no fees
  • Temporary new and increased overdrafts
  • Immediate access to deposit balances with no penalties
  • Local Business Growth Enablers are working with their networks to share information on coronavirus readiness
  • Teams who can support with the impact of coronavirus on specific industry sectors

*Subject  to normal credit approval procedures. Security may be required, and product fees may apply (except where stated otherwise). Loan repayment holidays and reduced payments will continue to accrue interest so you may pay more in the long term.

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Icon expand I'm concerned about the impact of coronavirus on my personal finances. How can you help?

Royal Bank of Scotland has put a range of measures in place to help support you if you're experiencing financial difficulties as a result of coronavirus. Visit our Personal hub for support and the latest guidance.

Business support

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Icon expand What sick pay support is available to people who are self employed?

Self-employed people affected by COVID-19 can claim for Universal Credit or the Contributory Employment and Support Allowance. SMEs can claim the cost of 14 days of sick pay per employee.

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Icon expand What should I do if one of my employees has coronavirus?

If an employee is unwell with coronavirus, the government has posted advice on what to do. There’s also advice on managing their absence and if there is a need for medical evidence.

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Icon expand I now need to take payments over the phone, online or contactless. How do I do it?

Tyl by NatWest provides payment services - over the phone, online, via link or in person – helping to adapt your business model. Keep customers and staff safe with more ways to pay with minimal contact. 

At this time of need, waived terminal rental fees until the end of 2020. 3G connectivity charges will also be waived until the end of June or longer. So, with our standard no minimum monthly transaction fees, you only pay for what you use.

Please note that Ulster Bank is a part of NatWest Group 

Find out more about Tyl

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Icon expand What is the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and how can it help me?

The government is providing guarantees to lenders to assist companies to access loans. If your business has been impacted by coronavirus, we will be able to consider your application under CBILS. Read more on our government schemes page.

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Icon expand What’s the £350m working capital funding package you’ve announced?

As the impact of coronavirus begins to impact more businesses, we’ve announced a package of support for SMEs across the UK. This includes a £350m Working Capital Support extension to its Growth Funding Package, ongoing support and practical advice for businesses. See our press release for more information.

Practical steps for your business
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Icon expand Cash flow and working capital

Businesses may experience disruption to their supply chain, as stock availability may drop, and lead times increase.

Businesses may experience disruption to their supply chain, as stock availability may drop, and lead times increase. In turn, this could impact raw material, stock and component prices. Businesses may need to seek alternative sources. New suppliers unfamiliar with their buyers may need advance payment, or bank guarantees.

How we could help

Ulster Bank has pledged £350m of working capital support for SMEs during the coronavirus outbreak. We have a range of solutions that could help manage your trading risks and provide tailored funding to help your supply chain remain healthy. For businesses experiencing a significant reduction in cash flow and income, we may be able to offer loan repayment holidays and/or temporary emergency loans with no fees.

Funding

Keeping cash flow moving is essential and our Invoice financing solutions can help you release cash from unpaid invoices. Trade Loans can provide cash earlier in your contract cycle to help pay your suppliers. Trade Loans don't have to be repaid until your customer pays you.

Asset Finance could help future proof your business by providing tailored funding so your business can invest or release working capital for greater automation or efficiency.

Risk Management

When markets become volatile, ensuring that you get paid (or if you are the buyer – you receive what you ordered on time), becomes even more important. We have a range of Trade Finance Instruments to help. From Letters of Credit – helping to minimise the risk of non-payment or late payment; to Bonds and Guarantees which can be tailored to any contract and ensure promises are kept between buyers and sellers across international borders and when undertaking UK trade. Visit our International Trade Hub  or speak to your Relationship Manager to find out more.

 

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Icon expand Exchange rates and international payments

Consider reducing exposure to exchange-rate fluctuations and simplify international payments.

Delays in shipments can cause uncertainty over the timing of foreign currency payments. Businesses may face diminishing confidence forecasting revenue and costs.

Short term supply chain disruptions can also result in changes to foreign currency exposure.

How we can help

We can help you with your potential foreign currency needs, giving you access to the majority of the most commonly traded currencies in international markets.

You may be experiencing supply chain disruption. We can work with you to realign payments with revised cash flow, potentially adding flexibility to manage timing or currency uncertainty.

International Cash Management and International Payments

We could help you establish new banking relationships through our Partner Bank network, operating in 36 countries across EMEA, APAC and the Americas, to help simplify your payments.

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Icon expand Protect yourself and others

Follow Public Health Agency (PHA) precautions to help prevent the spread of infection.

Follow Public Health Agency (PHA) precautions to help prevent the spread of infection. Consider increasing the amount of cleaning on surfaces such as desks, keyboards, door handles with an anti-bacterial solution. Have hand sanitiser gel available for your staff and customers to use.

Advise employees and contractors to consult national travel advice before going on business trips.

Employees should self-isolate when returning from high risk areas, even if they are not experiencing any symptoms.

Certifying absence from work: medical evidence is not required for the first 7 days of sickness (source: Gov.uk). After 7 days, it is for the employer to determine what evidence they require.

Statutory sick pay is available from day one when self-isolating, instead of day four.

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Icon expand Business Continuity Plan

Identify essential operations and make plans if employee absence is a threat.

Identify essential operations and make plans if employee absence is a threat. Confirm the chain of command and back-ups for critical roles.

Review if IT infrastructure can support an increase in remote work and extra technology requirements, such as video or digital telephonic software.

Create an internal communications plan to ensure that BCP updates and changes are communicated in real-time.

Have a disaster recovery plan in place with a framework to ensure continuity of operations if primary physical space is unavailable.

Assess the risk level of any vendors or other parties that your business depends on and gather confirmation from critical vendors that they have a robust BCP and can deploy as needed.

Identify if you may have any potential constraints on working capital, funding or future payments.

How we can help

If you have any concern about funding or payment, please contact us to discuss. We may be able to offer support.

Add your signposting title here… Protect your business from fraudsters

Fraudsters are exploiting the spread of coronavirus to attempt a variety of scams and cybercrime. Learn more about how to protect your business from the latest threats.

Learn more
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