NatWest appoints Rapid Cash CEO

NatWest has appointed Julie Ashmore as chief executive of its digital overdraft alternative Rapid Cash, in a bid to accelerate growth of its working capital venture throughout 2020.

Ashmore joins from Growth Street, where she was commercial director for the peer-to-peer lender. Prior to this, she was head of SME lending at HSBC, has over 30 years’ experience working within the small business banking market, and has also run her own consultancy and coaching business.

NatWest launched Rapid Cash to the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) market in 2019, as an overdraft alternative to help growing businesses manage cash flow. It provides businesses with an instant limit of up to £500,000 based on real time integration with accounting software.

In recent months, Rapid Cash has announced integrations with third parties such as accounting platform Xero, and expenses management startup Soldo. The bank aims to grow partnerships like these across the SME market, in an aim to reach a broader customer base alongside NatWest’s own one million business banking customers.

Ashmore said: “I have watched with interest over recent years as the banking and FinTech worlds have come together to transform the SME lending market, by developing innovative alternatives through accessible and intuitive digital channels.”

Andy Ellis, head of NatWest Ventures, said: “Following a year where we were delighted to see Rapid Cash launched to the SME market, in 2020 we aim to accelerate our progress, in turn helping more SMEs grow.

“To that end, we’re really pleased to have appointed Julie to lead Rapid Cash and are looking forward to watching the business flourish under her leadership.”

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