Tide partners ClearBank to bid for RBS funds

Tide has partnered with ClearBank to bolster the challenger banking duo’s chances in winning a slice of the 775 million RBS Alternative Remedies Package.

With Tide’s support, ClearBank has applied for a grant from Pool A of the Capability and Innovation Fund. The bid blends ClearBank’s payments infrastructure and Tide’s digital banking platform, with the aim of offering small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) a genuine alternative to the High Street banks.

Oliver Prill, chief executive of Tide, said that banks have traditionally viewed serving SMEs as a marginal and low-revenue activity, “which is why they have terrible customer satisfaction ratings”.

He continued: “Purely from a risk management perspective, it would be a mistake to give all the top prizes in the RBS Alternative Remedies Package to High Street banks to do ‘more of the same with’ and upgrade legacy systems.”

Just before Christmas, the Board of Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) announced the 11 organisations which meet the eligibility criteria for the Incentivised Switching Scheme.

The purpose of the scheme is to provide funding of up to a maximum total of £275 million to SME customers of RBS’ Williams & Glyn business, to switch their business current accounts and loans to ‘challenger’ institutions.

The BCR is considering a second application window in late spring 2019, with four more organisations, that were not live members of the Current Account Switch Service (CASS) at time of application, due to be named in the coming months.

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