Five winners in latest RBS-derived funding round
Five companies have been selected for grants of £5 million each within the SME-oriented Pool D part of the Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) funding scheme, which stems from the £775 million Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) State Aid Alternative Remedies Package, reports Martin Whybrow.
BCR is governed by an independent board of directors. The Alternative Remedies Package was negotiated and agreed between the UK government and the European Commission.
The awards of Capability and Innovation Fund Pool D are to facilitate the commercialisation of financial technology that is relevant to SMEs. These have gone to Codat, Fluidly, Form3, Funding Options and Swoop Finance.
The five successful applicants will shortly be invited to enter into a Capability and Innovation Fund Agreement with BCR. As part of the application process, each organisation had to provide BCR with a set of public commitments stating what it would deliver with these funds. Progress against these public commitments will be published on a quarterly basis on the BCR website.
As required in the project design, BCR engaged an external contractor, Baringa, to help with the evaluation and procurement.
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 and 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.”
BCR received a total of 60 applications for the Pool D process during an application window between 1 November 2018 and 30 April 2019.
The Alternative Remedies Package has two RBS funded measures. The Incentivised Switching Scheme is allocated up to £275 million to assist SME customers within the Williams & Glynn business to move to challenger banks. A further maximum sum of £75 million has been set aside within RBS to cover customers’ switching costs.
The second part of the Capability and Innovation Fund is allocated £425 million to encourage eligible bodies to develop and improve their capability to compete in the provision of banking services to SMEs and develop and improve the financial products and services which are available to SMEs.
There are four pools. The remaining one, Pool C, facilitates the expansion of business offerings to include lending or payments services to SMEs in the UK. It comprises four awards of £10 million each. It opened on 1 May 2019 for applications and closes on 28 June 2019.