The Banking Competition Remedies Pool D (BCR) giveaway sees five fintechs each pocket £5m.

In total 60 fintechs applied to BCR for a share of the Pool D fund. The application window ran between 1 November 2018 and 30 April 2019.

Banking Competition Remedies Pool D is designed to facilitate the commercialisation of financial technology that is relevant to SMEs.

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

The saga all dates back to the 2008 government bailout of RBS.

RBS is freeing up a pot worth £775m as part of the conditions dating back the bailout

Banking Competition Remedies Pool D successful applicants:

Five £5m grants are awarded to the following organisations:

  • Codat
  • Fluidly Limited
  • Form3 Ltd
  • Funding Options Ltd
  • Swoop Finance

Codat is focused on making financial integrations as simple as a click of a button. It builds developer-friendly infrastructure that gives businesses the ability to create their own next-generation products.

Codat offers a single aggregated and standardised API that integrates seamlessly with SME customers’ accounting software and/or bank account. The data Codat retrieves provides relationship managers with actionable cross and upsell insights.

Fluidly Limited supplies intuitive cashflow forecasting software powered by AI.

Fluidly takes transaction data from clients’ accounting systems and uses this to forecast cashflow down to invoice level detail.

Form 3 is an end to end ‘Payments As A Service’ technology provider.

Its cloud native, real-time payment platform helps banks, fintechs, financial institutions, e-commerce gateways and card providers process a wide range of payments quickly, simply and cost effectively.

Funding Options helps UK firms access business finance and works directly with business and their advisers.

Founded in 2012, Funding Options matches UK firms seeking finance with its panel of bank and non-bank lenders. Lenders in the UK include HSBC. It is now arranging around £100m of lending a year. It is also expanding outside the UK including a partnership deal agreed earlier this year with ING in the Netherlands.

Swoop Finance 

Swoop aims to simplify and accelerate access to loans, grants and equity funding for business in the UK and Ireland.

Using the Swoop platform enables businesses to apply for multiple sources of funding through one ‘super’ application.

Pool D:’ the commercialisation of FinTech’

Commenting on the Pool D grant process, Godfrey Cromwell BCR’s Chairman says: “Pool D is for the commercialisation of FinTech. There is a vibrant and varied FinTech community across the UK and Europe. BCR received a diverse range of strong, ambitious and innovative applications.

“It was very difficult to get down to just five awardees. We could easily have awarded to many more.  Those selected provide services ranging from lending to international payments, from cashflow management to technology infrastructure. They are an exciting addition to the portfolio of CIF grants to date.”

The rationale of Pool D is quite simple: to increase competition in small business lending. It is a perfectly worthy project.  Unlike some commentators, I see no cause to question the process or the role of Mazars in overseeing the process.

It is also a safeish bet that a year or two from now there will be little material change in current market shares for SME lending.

Banking Competition Remedies earlier winners

The first grants awarded by BCR relate to what it terms the Capability and Innovation Fund.

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

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