Thank you to everyone that attended our breakfast briefing Change the future of SME Banking – RBS Capability and Innovation Fund Alternative Remedies Package (ARP) @Fora, Borough.

It was a great opportunity to run through the timeline and application process for the £425 million Capability and Innovation Fund, answer some key questions around application strategy and explore how the fund can be used to drive change for underserved SME’s.

The Capability and Innovation Fund will grant funding to eligible challenger banks and other financial technology companies.

Chris Allen, Director, Axis Corporate “The Capability and Innovation Fund represents a rare opportunity to shake-up banking for the benefit of Britain’s small and medium sized enterprises. After years of neglect, we are at last on the cusp of these businesses being able to access banking products and services specifically designed to help them thrive within the digital economy. The fund has created a unique alignment of incentives to encourage a range of banking and technology providers to collaborate in order to meet the broad and complex needs of SME customers. This is being supercharged by open banking regulation and SME customers starting to demand the instant, highly personalised digital experiences they are used to in their personal lives. “

Key Takeaways from the event:
• SMEs are under-served. Around two thirds think that their Bank does not understand their needs.
• Many SMEs are treated like Personal Current Account ‘Plus’ customers rather than ‘Lite’ Corporate customers.
• SMEs want greater access to convenient, digital self-service and a better user experience.
• SMEs desire specialist advisory services and an array of digital solutions, including bank systems that can be intelligently integrated with their other systems (accounting, payroll, inventory).
• Capability and Innovation Fund will attract media interest, which your business could capitalise from.
• Applying for the fund will require detailed exploration of market opportunities and how to effectively deliver – these will be valuable assets even if not successful.
• Challengers, Fintechs, payment providers and lending providers have the opportunity to partner alongside those with the expertise and capacity to help them deliver what SMEs need.

Collaboration in the sector is incentivised through some of the conditions of the fund, we see this as an excellent opportunity for players to establish new ways of working and business models for the betterment of SMEs across the UK.

Thank you again for your participation at the breakfast briefing. Let’s continue the conversation. We would particularly welcome a discussion on how we can support you rapidly come to a decision on application strategy, effectively support your application process or enhance your application through partnerships with other fintech.

Contact us – Chris Allen #Innovation #Digital #SMEs