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NatWest to expand workplace pension and ISA offering with £144m Cushon acquisition

The high street bank is taking an 85% controlling stake in Cushon.

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Workplace financial wellness firm Cushon has been acquired by NatWest for £144m, in the banking giant’s latest fintech acquisition.

Cushon, a portfolio company of listed investor Augmentum Fintech, provides companies with workplace pensions and savings accounts, with a carbon-neutral fund as its default.

NatWest says the acquisition will help it expand the bank’s business customer offering to include Cushon’s Master Trust workplace pension and workplace savings accounts (including an ISA, JISA, LISA and GIA).

“On average, UK employees are due to outlive their savings by 10 years and we are committed to helping reduce this savings gap,” said Peter Flavel, CEO of NatWest Wealth Businesses.

“We believe Cushon’s engaging, app-first pension will help customers by moving their pension and workplace savings schemes from a compliance burden to an employee benefit.”

Since its founding in 2014, Cushon has raised over £72m in equity and debt funding.

NatWest will take a controlling 85 per cent shareholding of Cushon, with 15 per cent retained by Cushon’s management.

Augmentum Fintech, which invested £5m as part of Cushon’s Series A in 2021 and followed on with a further £5.8m in subsequent rounds, said it expects the transaction to return £22.8m, more than doubling its original investment.

“The acquisition of Cushon by NatWest Group marks Augmentum’s fifth realisation since IPO and demonstrates the strategic nature of many of the assets in our portfolio,” said Tim Levene, Augmentum’s CEO.

“Financial incumbents are increasingly looking to accelerate their digital transformation through acquiring innovative, digital-first propositions. The pensions industry has certainly suffered from a lack of transformative innovation to date and with their Net Zero pension offering and tech-led approach, Cushon is a true digital disruptor.”

NatWest is no stranger to a fintech acquisition, having also snapped up kids savings app Rooster Money in 2021, before relaunching it as NatWest Rooster Money the following year.

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