ROYAL Bank of Scotland has been contacting small and medium enterprise customers to offer them additional borrowing.

The bank said it has got in touch with around 270,000 businesses across the UK in recent months.

It indicated it has offered £10 billion of new lending so far, but did not say how much of that has been taken up.

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Ian Cowie, chairman of SME banking for NatWest and RBS, said: "We have received positive feedback from our customers about this initiative and it is encouraging to see the money lent enabling local businesses to fulfil their ambitions."