Chloe Shakesby

London banking partnership awarded £25m funding to suport SMEs

A London banking partnership has today announced that it has been awarded £25m in funding to help SMEs recover from the impact of the pandemic.

ClearBank, the cloud-native clearing bank, has partnered with Tide, the business banking platform, to support UK SMEs “turn recovery into a growth opportunity”.

The £25m funding will be used to provide financial support and products to help SMEs address the challenges they will face in the post-coronavirus and post-Brexit economic environment and to seize on the opportunities that come out of it.

Charles McManus, co-founder and CEO of ClearBank, commented: “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 period 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 of an impact, building on the agility and efficiency we have shown so far in our on-target Pool A delivery.

“By committing to integrate with at least 25 SME partners, we’re opening up opportunities for innovative businesses to provide valuable changemaking solutions.

“We believe these partnerships, combined with a number of powerful new tools, will further enable us to offer a truly compelling alternative to the high street banks.”

Oliver Prill, CEO of Tide, said: “We are thankful that the BCR has granted our partnership with ClearBank the opportunity to create a genuine alternative to the oligopoly that has dominated the UK SME market for too long.

“Competition and choice in the business banking space is more important than ever and this grant will help us to address it urgently.

“Switching accounts is sticky, with old barriers remaining and the government’s response to the coronavirus crisis reinforcing them.

“For example, repayments under the critical Bounce Back Loan Scheme will link millions of SMEs to the big five for many years.

“ClearBank’s world-class payments infrastructure combined with Tide’s unrivalled business banking platform mean that we can develop innovative ways to get around this, particularly by using Open Banking in the way it was intended.

“As well as removing friction, we will provide powerful attractors as an incentive for SMEs to switch to Tide.

“Crisis recovery can turn threats into opportunities and we have identified the key areas in which SMEs are threatened and have world-class solutions that will allow them to get back on their feet and come out stronger.

One immediate opportunity is for banks small and large, alternative lenders and commercial finance brokers to join the leading funding network we will be building.“

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