“Our work is changing the landscape of SME financial services in the UK”
BCR publishes progress updates on Public Commitments from Pool A, B, C and D Capability and Innovation Fund recipients and sets out details for Pool F
The Board of Banking Competition Remedies Ltd (BCR) today publishes progress updates for Pool A, B, C and D recipients, providing a summary of performance against their public commitments to the period 31st December 2020.
The updates of those awarded, their original commitments made and key achievements to date can be found here.
In this reporting period, five awardees submitted business cases that resulted in changes to their public commitments: Codat Limited, Form3 Ltd, Investec plc, Metro Bank plc and Starling Bank Limited.
Aidene Walsh, CIF executive director, said: “We are very impressed with the progress that many CIF awardees are making. Change is a constant expectation in this period, with every business having to adapt. BCR awardees are no exception: any acceleration or reprioritisation of commitments reflects the reality of the business environment and the ability of these organisations to maintain their focus on the relevant needs of UK SMEs to make an impact now, and into the future. The BCR team applied a rigorous review process to ensure that business cases continue to support the ARP objective of driving competition for financial services for UK SMEs. In terms of the five business cases approved, changes resulted either from acceleration of spend or reprioritisation of offerings due to the outstanding success the awardees have enjoyed or due to responding to changing SME needs in the current environment.”
Richard Anderson, chair of BCR, said: “Our work is changing the landscape of financial services for SMEs in the UK. Throughout the life of BCR, we have sought to fund initiatives which will make a real difference to competition in the small business banking market – it is very positive that we are now starting to see the visible impact of this. There are some fantastic success stories emerging through these public commitments and real evidence that awardees are moving the dial. A number of organisations have already exceeded their public commitments, accelerated spend, reported marked growth in customer numbers, and two awardees – Starling and Clearbank/Tide Business Banking (CTBB) – have achieved, or are near to, 5% market share. This is a significant achievement especially in the face of a very challenging climate. This is good for the UK economy because SME businesses will need these new financial services as the UK recovers from the pandemic financial crisis.”
A summary of performance against awardees public commitments can be found in the notes to editors, with links to the full updates provided below:
Pool A seventh quarter update
- Starling Bank Limited public commitment progress update
- Metro Bank plc public commitment progress update
- ClearBank Ltd (CTBB) public commitment progress update
Pool B sixth quarter update
- Investec Bank plc public commitment progress update
- The Co-operative Bank plc public commitment progress update
Pool C fifth quarter update
- Atom Bank plc public commitment progress update
- The Currency Cloud Group Ltd public commitment progress update
- iwoca Ltd public commitment progress update
- Modulr Finance Limited public commitment progress update
Pool D sixth quarter update
- Codat Limited public commitment progress update
- Fluidly Limited public commitment progress update
- Form3 Ltd public commitment progress update
- Funding Options Limited public commitment progress update
- Swoop Finance Limited public commitment progress update
Pool A, B, C and D awardees will submit their next progress reports in May 2021. Pool E awardees will provide their next reporting update in April 2021. As part of BCR’s role in monitoring the way that organisations are using the funds, BCR holds awardees to account on their progress against business plans which includes meeting all the recipients. For more details on how BCR monitors CIF awardees see here.
Pool F: new funding round under the CIF scheme
In January 2021, Onfido returned its £5m award after its own internal strategic review resulted in a change in business direction. This scenario was foreseen in the design of the ARP and as a result, BCR will run a further funding round, Pool F, to redeploy these funds.
As set out under the ARP terms, eligible applicants for Pool F will include Pool A, B and C bodies, but not Pool D bodies. As with Pool E, this new pool will be open to existing participants. BCR is required to consult with potential applicants on the size of grants, with the consultation process due to open in August following the end of the ISS scheme. Further details and timings will be set out on the BCR website from mid-April. Potential applicants that wish to register their interest in advance, can do so by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Aidene Walsh, CIF lead director said: “We have an established process for Pool F and we will be working hard to ensure that as soon as we are able to open the Pool in August, we can condense evaluation processes to enable the funds to be returned quickly into the market.”