The latest pot of cash, Pool C, is part of a four stage series of pots for disbursing £425m in grants from the Royal Bank of Scotland bailout fund to boost banking competition.
BCR is governed by an independent board of directors. The Alternative Remedies Package was negotiated and agreed between the UK government and the European Commission. Its aim is to encourage the development and improvement of financial products and services available to UK SMEs.
The Capability and Innovation Fund Pool C was designed to encourage the expansion of business offerings. These offers include lending or payment services to small businesses in the UK as well as international payment services.
The four successful applicants include Atom Bank PLC, iwoca Ltd, Modulr Finance Limited and Currencycloud.
In total BCR received 76 applications for the Pool C process. Each organisation provided the BCR with a set of public commitments stating it will deliver with these funds.
Daniel Meere, Managing Director, Axis Corporate “The Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) today announced its Pool C winners as the final stage of the Capability & Innovation fund (CIF) awards. Congratulations to Iwoca, Atom Bank, Currency Cloud and Modulr on their successful applications. The volume and quality of applications has been referenced by the BCR, which underscores the validity of plans set out by all applicants aiming to drive up competition in the SME banking market. The UK FinTech scene continues to attract record levels of funding and is leading the way in disrupting financial services for the benefit of all customers. We encourage all participants in the four pools of the CIF to continue to execute their plans, explore partnership opportunities and contribute to innovation and choice for SMEs. We are committed to making these plans a reality and actively supporting participants refine and mobilise their programmes of work as well as explore alternative funding options.”
The commercialisation of fintech is not going away and Pool A, B and C winners will be scanning the market for fintech partnerships to help them serve the SME market through their funding awards or future expansion plans.
All the winners will help businesses with their most pressing challenges and the funding has served its purpose of injecting much needed competition into the market, with the incumbents looking to partner with fintechs or create their own solutions to serve their SME customers. We would also expect to see soon further commitments from the Government in boosting fintech funding, with alternative sources of financing and UK business exporting being high on their agenda in stimulating the economy.
We’ve already seen huge growth in the number providers of SME financial services in the UK, without the help of remedies fund. Every winner to date has committed to using solution partners to deliver their public commitments, as well as a large contingent of innovative solution providers who were not selected, we should see more partnerships being announced and more coordinated responses to addressing the SMEs’ key problem areas.