Small and medium business (SMEs) owners are desperate for disruptive change for business banking, the RBS Capability and Innovation Fund could hold the key to transforming how small businesses discover, access and use business-critical financial services.

1. It’s another fine for a UK bank
False. This is not a fine. The fund comes from RBS as part of conditions attached to its £45bn Government bailout during the financial crisis. It replaced the European Commission’s conditions for RBS to sell off a portion of its SME banking business. The fund’s aim is to promote competition and improve banking services to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

2. Only banks can apply for funding
False. £65 million of this fund is being targeted towards payment firms, lenders, and fintechs. A banking license are not required (for Pools C and D).

3. Funds are allocated by the Government and firms are expected to pay back over time.
False. An independent body (BCR ltd.) has been set-up to oversee the scheme, independent of both RBS and the UK Government. It will be governed by an independent board of directors, with neither RBS nor HM Treasury having ownership or control rights over the Independent Body. The body will report publicly how funds are spent. You are not required to pay back the funds if the rules are followed correctly, it is not a business loan, but there are criteria attached to the funds.

4. The deadline to apply has passed

False. The application process will open in November 2018 for Pools A and D. And application for Pool C opens in May 2019.

5. There is a limited support to help me apply

True/False While there is limited information in the public domain, BCR has holding pages for key documents, awaiting information.

Axis Corporate is working with several challenger businesses to ensure their case for funding is heard. Where it makes sense, we facilitate small groups of challenger businesses to collaborate and submit joint applications.

Contact us

Chris Allen, Director, and see how we can help.