Nationwide’s ClearBank tie-up heralds the arrival of a new “flanker” bank

By Oliver Smith on 24th July 2019

Challenger Banks

The building society has also struck up deals with Mastercard and 10x Future Technologies.

Nationwide’s ClearBank tie-up heralds the arrival of a new “flanker” bank
Image source: Nationwide.

When Nationwide scooped up £50m from the RBS Competition fund earlier this year it pledged to “launch our business current account early in 2020”.

Now that “flanker” bank—the term given to a digital account being launched by a high street bank, like Mettle from RBS—is coming.

Yesterday Nationwide announced deals with Mastercard and ClearBank to provide the debit cards and real-time payments of its new account.

And earlier this year Nationwide made a £15m investment in 10x Future Technologies, the bank technology provider set up by former Barclays boss Antony Jenkins, taking a minority stake in the business and letting 10x develop the digital platform for its new account.

“We are aiming to disrupt the business banking market and these partnerships will help us do just that,” said Simon Hamilton, Managing Director of Nationwide for Business at the announcement of the Mastercard and ClearBank partnerships yesterday.

“The combination of our mutual ethos, national branch network, UK based call centres and these partnerships, will ensure we are truly able to meet the needs of small businesses across the country and set new standards in business banking.”

Nationwide said that its new business account would include “unsecured loans, credit cards and savings… providing the best of branch and digital service and access to dedicated UK-only call centres”.

The bank also mentioned that it would provide support with accounting, cashflow, and assistance with foreign payments.

While we’re still some way off Nationwide’s early 2020 launch, the “flanker” business bank looks set to put some heat under the likes of Tide, Coconut and the business banking arms of Monzo and Starling Bank.