Tide and Clearbank: we’ll apply for grants returned by Nationwide and Metro Bank

Nationwide and Metro Bank have handed back £100 million to the Banking Competition Remedies Ltd (BCR) Capability and Innovation Fund. The BCR will redeploy the money in further grants and we’ll apply, with our partner Clearbank.

Another grant from the BCR would allow us to go further with our commitment to small businesses: creating more new features and improving competition in the market. We’ve already used our £60 million grant from the BCR to do this – currently we’re on track to reach 8% market share by the end of 2023 – but we want to do more.

£100 million to redeploy

On 3 April 2020, the Banking Competition Remedies Ltd (BCR) announced that due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, Nationwide Building Society will return the £50 million grant they were given by the BCR to create business bank accounts.

And back in February 2020, Metro Bank returned £50 million of the original grant of £120 million they received from the BCR.

This means there’s now £100 million for the BCR to redeploy. With our partner Clearbank, we’ll apply for a grant from this returned money.

Coronavirus forces Nationwide to change plans

The information published by the BCR states that Nationwide decided it wouldn’t be commercially viable to go ahead with their ‘Nationwide for Business’ proposition, due to the effect of the coronavirus outbreak and the changes they expect in interest rates.

The BCR also announced that the £50 million returned by Nationwide will be available for redeployment through their Capability and Innovation Fund. It’s from this fund which we at Tide, with our partner ClearBank, successfully gained a grant in February 2019 which we’ve been using to develop, improve and launch new features and services for our members and prospects.

Tide and Clearbank will apply

Commenting on the BCR’s announcement, our CEO Oliver Prill and Charles McManus, CEO of Clearbank, said:

“We welcome the BCR’s and The Treasury’s decision to redeploy £100 million into the RBS Alternative Remedies funds. In partnership with Tide, Clearbank intends to apply to the fund.

“With our strong track-record of already delivering on our BCR commitments, we believe we’re in a solid position to help further diversify finance for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK. With that in mind, we’d urge the BCR to focus on SME specialists.

“We believe our proven ability to move fast and deliver for Tide’s 150,000 members is because we’re experts in providing a service to SMEs, which led us to create and launch accounts, memberships and features to meet specific needs and demands of these types of businesses.”

When we have more news to share on this, we’ll post an update here on the blog.

What is the BCR?

Banking Competition Remedies Ltd (BCR) is the independent body established to implement the £775 million Royal Bank of Scotland State Aid Alternative Remedies Package.

Gov.uk explains what the ‘Alternative Remedies Package’ is and how eligible organisations can participate: view information pack


BCR website: Market update (PDF), published 3 April 2020

BCR website: Update on Metro Bank and Pool A Capability and
Innovation Fund (PDF)
, published 26 February 2020

Tide blog: £60M to transform the UK’s business banking market, published 22 February 2020

AltFi website: BCR’s 3 options for Metro Bank’s returned £50m, published 16 March 2020

Suzanne Worthington

Suzanne Worthington

Senior Writer

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