While Metro Bank is still struggling with the fallout from a massive accounting error that slashed millions from its value, the bank has announced a trio of FinTech partnerships.
The three partnerships are with SME loan comparison platform Funding Options, commercial trade finance company Conance and risk management firm DueDil.
Metro Bank was awarded £120m from the Capability & Innovation Fund earlier this year and as part of this the challenger bank is committed to collaborating with smaller British businesses by embedding them into the products and services it provides.
The partnership will see Metro Bank’s customers get accesses to Funding Options’ technology. This in turn will enable them to scan the business lending marketplace in minutes and easily compare financing options from more than 70 lenders.
The Conance partnership will enable Metro Bank customers to seek out the firm’s specialist trade advice and finance solutions.
DueDil will deploy its predictive company intelligence platform as part of Metro Bank’s account online application, providing a speedier account opening process, with quick-search functionality and auto-populated company information to save SMEs valuable time. However, this will only happen in 2020.
Paul Riseborough, chief commercial officer at Metro Bank stated that the company is “focused on collaborating with the most innovative partners in order to give our SME customers the edge in today’s competitive market” and that he was “proud to be partnering with and integrating Funding Options, Conance and DueDil into our proposition.”
The news comes at a particularly problematic time for Metro Bank. Earlier this year it was revealed that the bank had made a £900m accounting error, stripping millions of its value.
Since then the bank has been working on rebuilding its reputation. Yet it reached a new low at the end of September when the bank failed to drum up investor interest for a bond sale. Having missed its target of between £200m and £250m, it cancelled the sale just hours after it was announced.
As a result of the botched attempt, Metro Bank’s shares plummeted from £272.6 per share to £156.5, a far cry from the £4,018 price it traded at in March 2018.
Afterwards, founder and chairman Vernon Hill announced he would leave the company. He had previously announced that he would give up his chairmanship, but was believed to have plans to remain on the board as a non-executive director. Hill instead announced he would leave Metro Bank on December 31, this year.
The news of his departure came at around the same time as Metro Bank succeeded in drumming up support for a second attempted bond sale. The bank raised £350m in the new bond sale.
The bank’s share price has been trading between £199.12 and £228.
Funding Options raised £5m from ING Ventures in September 2018 to keep developing its platform and grow its employee numbers.
DueDil received a £3.5m loan from Shawbrook Bank in February this year.
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