NatWest Bank has closed down the MBA loan scheme that it ran in conjunction with the London-based Association of MBAs. Under the scheme, students attending MBA programmes accredited by the association could apply for preferential loans from NatWest.
Amba reports that NatWest has terminated the scheme “due to the transformation of the personal loans market and a review of their structure and products”.
The situation is particularly fraught for students who study in countries other than the one where they live and work - that is, most students on European MBA programmes - hence the attractiveness of the Amba loan scheme.
Last year GMAC, which administers the GMAT test, brokered an initiative between a group of US schools and Deutsche Bank to set up a loan scheme for international students studying in the US. And for those studying at Insead there is an innovative loan scheme from Prodigy Finance, which was developed by three 2006 alumni, to fund loans through issuing community bonds.
Getting funding is no trivial matter as, apart from the course fees and living expenses, MBA students have to bear the cost of their foregone salary. For a one-year programme, participants can easily write off $100,000, with double that investment needed for two-year programme.