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August 14, 2019updated 21 Aug 2019 3:26pm

Banking Competition Remedies Pool C awards £40m to finance firms

By Evie Rusman

The Banking Competition Remedies Pool C (BCR) has awarded four organisations £10m each as part of its Capability and Innovation Fund (CIF).

The four successful applicants include Atom Bank PLC, iwoca Ltd, Modulr Finance Limited and Currencycloud.

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.

Godfrey Cromwell, BCR’s Chairman, said: “Pool C centres on lending and payments services to SMEs. The four selected organisations address these areas and complete our portfolio of CIF grants.

“Now the emphasis is on monitoring each recipient’s reporting and deliverables. Their public commitments can be seen on our website and performance against these will be regularly updated there.”

In total BCR received 76 applications for the Pool C process with the application window running from 1 May 2019 to 28 June 2019.

Each organisation provided the BCR with a set of public commitments stating it will deliver with these funds.

BCR was set up in response to the government bailout of RBS in 2008.

Banking Competition Remedies Pool C: The four successful applicants

Atom Bank PLC is a UK digital challenger bank and has said it hopes to deploy the Pool C award to create smarter lending solutions for SMEs.

Atom plan to introduce a number of new Smart Lending products designed specifically for SMEs. This will enable them to provide competitively-priced lending and allow them to finance SME cash flow management and growth.

iwoca Ltd was set up in response to lack of finance available to small businesses.

iwoca Ltd hopes to use its award-winning technology to make finance more accessible to SMEs and expand its customer base to 150,000.

Modulr Finance Limited is a Payments as a Service (PaaS) API platform for digital businesses. It was designed to reduce the friction businesses experience when accessing payment services from banks.

Modulr Finance will provide three interlinked initiatives which they hope will provide SMEs with a better, more integrated payments experience.

Currencycloud was founded in an attempt to make international payments less costly and complex.

Currencycloud is committed to powering cross-border payments for 40,000 SMEs by 2024. To do this they plan to expand their product range and use the grant to create a Global Transaction Banking platform.

Previous winners

This year, BCR have previously awarded three grants as part of the Capability and Innovation Fund.

Pool A winners: Metro Bank (£120m), Starling (£100m) and ClearBank (£60m)

Pool B winners: Nationwide Building Society (£50m), Investec (£15m) and Cooperative Bank (£15m)

Pool D winners: Codat, Fluidly Limited, Form 3 Ltd, Funding Options Ltd and Swoop Finance (£5m each)

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