UK markets open in 4 hours 54 minutes

RBS boosts Brexit contingency fund to 8.2 bln stg

LONDON, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Royal Bank of Scotland has increased its Brexit support fund for small businesses by 2.2 billion pounds to 8.2 billion pounds ($10.5 billion), after identifying several thousand customers who may be impacted by Britain's departure.

The state-backed lender said it had committed 5.6 billion pounds of the fund so far.

Paul Thwaite, the commercial banking managing director at RBS unit NatWest, said: "We are very much open for business and want to be the bank that supports the UK's businesses through this uncertain time."

RBS has repeatedly increased the size of its so-called 'Growth Funding Initiative' - which is also designed to back high-growth small firms - in response to business demand. ($1 = 0.7836 pounds) (Reporting by Iain Withers, editing by Sinead Cruise)