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RBS doubles clean energy lending to £1 billion, extends energy audit service to large corporates

The Royal Bank of Scotland has revealed that it doubled its lending for sustainable energy projects last year to £1 billion.

The bank said the landmark figure confirmed its position as UK renewables’ largest lender, and confirmed its intent to ramp up financial support for businesses looking to increase their energy efficiency.

RBS currently runs an energy audit service for SMEs, helping businesses identify efficiency measures before offering funding and refinancing services for their installation. So far more than 400 businesses have gone through the audit and achieved around £10 million of long-term savings.

The bank is now extending the service to large corporate customers with annual energy spends in excess of £200,000 with a view of helping businesses now eligible for the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS).

That service would seemingly place RBS in direct competition with fellow banking giant Lloyds, which last month launched a £1 billion loan fund targeting business energy efficiency projects, with preferential rates on offer for firms meeting pre-determined targets.

Alison Rose, chief executive for commercial and private banking at RBS, said that the bank’s new record was evidence of its “unwavering commitment to the low carbon economy”.

“Sustainable energy consumption is a win-win situation for our customers. Our unique funding proposition helps them realise long term cash flow improvements and reduce their environmental footprint, something which is increasingly valued and expected by their own shareholders, investors and customers,” she said.