ClearBank, the cloud-native clearing bank, in partnership with Tide, the business banking platform, have been awarded £25m to help UK SMEs turn recovery from the coronavirus crisis into a growth opportunity.
The funding will be used to provide financial support and products to help SMEs address the challenges they will face in the post-coronavirus and post-Brexit economic environment and to seize on the opportunities that come out of it.
ClearBank and Tide will provide support to SMEs in the current challenging environment and help them to capitalise on the Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda. The pair will help SMEs meet the accelerated demand for digital services and enable them to become more sustainable.
Building upon the market share gains ClearBank, in partnership with Tide have delivered over the last 18 months, the grant will enable both businesses to establish initiatives aimed at tackling barriers to competition in business banking and give SMEs the tools to turn crisis into opportunity. These include leveraging open banking to remove friction, improving funding opportunities with access to debt and equity, and helping SME to become more digital and support digital payments and business development.
Charles McManus, Co-Founder and CEO of ClearBank, said: “The pandemic has created deep-seated uncertainty, particularly among UK SMEs who are among the hardest hit. This grant will help us ensure SMEs not only survive this period but are able to seize the opportunities available and thrive in the long-term.
“By committing to integrate with at least 25 SME partners, we’re opening up opportunities for innovative businesses to provide valuable changemaking solutions. We believe these partnerships, combined with a number of powerful new tools, will further enable us to offer a truly compelling alternative to the high street banks.”
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Oliver Prill, CEO of Tide, added: “We are thankful that the BCR has granted our partnership with ClearBank the opportunity to create a genuine alternative to the oligopoly that has dominated the UK SME market for too long.
“Competition and choice in the business banking space is more important than ever and this grant will help us to address it urgently. As well as removing friction, we will provide powerful attractors as an incentive for SMEs to switch to Tide. Crisis recovery can turn threats into opportunities and we have identified the key areas in which SMEs are threatened and have world-class solutions that will allow them to get back on their feet and come out stronger.
“One immediate opportunity is for banks small and large, alternative lenders and commercial finance brokers to join the leading funding network we will be building.”