ClearBank lands £60m to improve SME banking

03 Apr 2019

ClearBank has been awarded a £60m grant by the RBS Alternative Remedies package to improve business banking for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The grant is part of a £775m package backed by the UK Government and overseen by Banking Competition Remedies, the organisation established to stimulate competition in the banking sector. Awards have been made to two other financial institutions, Metro Bank and Starling.

ClearBank and partner Tide will match the award to drive brand awareness, remove friction to switching and develop propositions to entice customers to move from the big four banks.

“ClearBank is committed to improving SME outcomes in the UK by leveraging innovative partnerships with leading technology and financial service providers in accordance with our banking-as-a-service model,” said ClearBank group CEO Charles McManus.

“Our partnership with Tide will provide the SME banking market with an innovative and compelling client proposition, using our highly-agile technology.”

Tide will announce its own product expansion plans in the coming weeks. “Tide fully supports the objective of changing business banking for the better,” said CEO Oliver Prill.

“We can start work today. The funding will help Tide accelerate its strategy to capture a significant share of the market, and we plan to match this with further investment of our own.”

At the end of February, ClearBank announced a strategic partnership with fintech firm Oaknorth. The business will use ClearBank’s platform to provide scalable real-time payments and agency banking services. Initially, OakNorth will use ClearBank’s real-time Faster Payments infrastructure, allowing for instant payments.

To date, Oaknorth has lent almost £3bn to UK businesses and COO Amir Noorials said the firm was looking for a partner to provide real-time capabilities. “We felt ClearBank was the best fit for our needs. Their API and virtual account support capabilities are best-in-class and in them, we’ve found a long-term, strategic partner who will enable us to provide an even faster and more seamless experience for our clients.”