ClearBank and Tide awarded £25 million to step up challenge to High Street banks

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Source: ClearBank/Tide

ClearBank in partnership with Tide has been awarded £25 million from the RBS Alternative Remedies Package to strengthen the challenge to High Street banks.

Both firms will be able to develop even more useful features to small businesses whilst opening up access to digital finance tools and improve options for funding.

Both Clearbank and Tide have made gains in market share in the last 18 months. The initiatives we’ll be developing build on these gains, as we further break down barriers to competition in business banking.

Each plan to use Open Banking as it was intended: to allow businesses to use an existing third-party business current account on the Tide platform.

Customers will be able to make payments and use smart features such as invoicing, expense management and VAT Manager.

Building on their Pool A deliverables, ClearBank and Tide will partner with third-party lenders. They say they’re committed to go ‘beyond Open Banking’ data available through a Tide Lending API and build on their own lending by enabling overdrafts.

Charles McManus, Group CEO of ClearBank, said:

“The pandemic has created deep-seated uncertainty, particularly among UK SMEs who are among the hardest hit. This grant will help us ensure SMEs not only survive this but are able to seize the opportunities available and thrive in the long-term.

“By securing the additional funding from Pool E, we’ll be able to have even more impact, building on our on-target Pool A delivery.

“We’ve committed to integrating with at least 25 SME partners. These businesses will help us offer innovative solutions for SMEs. We believe these partnerships, along with powerful new tools, will make Clearbank and Tide’s services an even more compelling alternative to the High Street banks.”

Oliver Prill, CEO of Tide, said:

“We’re grateful that the BCR has granted our partnership with ClearBank this opportunity to create a genuine alternative to the oligopoly that has dominated the UK SME business banking market for too long.

“Competition and choice is more important than ever and this grant will help us address it urgently. Switching accounts is tricky, with old barriers remaining, reinforced by the Government’s response to the coronavirus crisis. For example, repayments under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme will link millions of SMEs to the ‘big five’ banks for many years.