Banking Competition Remedies Ltd (BCR) has revealed the firms to receive grants, which are worth a total of £80m, to support banking innovation.
The capital is being supplied by its Capability and Innovation Fund Pool B, which was established to promote competition in the market for banking services to UK-based SMEs. It defines this as either the modernisation of existing business current account offerings or the development of new business current accounts, or ancillary product propositions for SMEs in the UK.
Nationwide Building Society received the largest grant, being handed £50m, while Investec Bank and The Co-operative Bank were both awarded £15m each.
There were 13 applications for Pool B during the application period which spanned 1st February 2019 and 29th March 2019. As part of the application period, each organisation provided BCR with a set of public commitments stating what it would deliver with the funds.
Nationwide Building Society, Investec Bank and The Co-operative Bank will also be invited to join the Capability and Innovation Fund Agreement with BCR. When this is signed, the progress of their commitments will be published quarterly.
BCR chairman Godfrey Cromwell said, “Pool B is the second group of grants from the Capability and Innovation Fund aimed at increasing competition in the UK business banking market with the overall purpose of improving financial products and services available to SMEs.
“We look forward to these organisations delivering on their public commitments and to further announcements for Pools C and D in the coming months.”
Focus is now being put onto Pool C which has an application window running from 5th May until 28th June – successful applicants will be revealed on 14th July. This pool has four grants of £10m available.
Its goal is “To facilitate the expansion of business offerings to include, lending or payments services to SMEs in the United Kingdom or international payments services to SMEs in the United Kingdom.”
The application window for Pool D has already closed and those receiving a grant will be revealed in June. There are five grants or £5m available to companies facilitating the commercialisation of financial technology relevant to SMEs.
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