Atom Bank, iwoca, Currencycloud and Modulr Finance to split £40m in BCR cash

By Oliver Smith on Wednesday 14 August 2019

Alternative Lending

The cash will be used to facilitate “lending or payments services to SMEs”.

Atom Bank, iwoca, Currencycloud and Modulr Finance to split £40m in BCR cash
Image source: iwoca/Christoph Rieche.

Lenders iwoca and Atom Bank are among the recipients of a £40m tranche of cash from the Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) fund, set up in the wake of the Royal Bank of Scotland’s bailout.

The BCR today awarded £10m to each to Atom Bank, iwoca, Currencycloud and Modulr Finance, with each company making specific public commitments to increase “lending or payments services to SMEs”.

In total the BCR has £775m to hand out to challenger banking firms in the UK to boost competition, particularly in banking services for small businesses.

“Winning this grant is a huge milestone for us,” said Christoph Rieche, iwoca’s CEO and co-founder. “We’re confident that we’ll be delivering on our commitment to make £5 billion available to 150,000 SMEs by 2023.

In its public commitments iwoca included the development of a customisable self-serve OpenLending platform to connect its lending products with partners—including a new partnership to make iwoca’s loans more accessible to Xero’s 450,000+ UK subscribers.

Currencycloud’s CEO Mike Laven added that he was “delighted” with the award, and would use it to expand Currencycloud’s cross-border platform.

Laven’s public commitments included a target of enabling 10% of UK SMEs to access cross-border payments by 2024.

Atom Bank pledged an additional £3bn of business financing by March 2024, along with 70 new jobs and a co-investment of £15m from its own coiffeurs among its public commitments.

With the announcement of Pool C’s winners the Banking Competition Remedies fund has now completed the distribution of its capital.

You can find the previous winners of Pool A (£280m), Pool B (£65m) and Pool D (£25m) here.

Sign up for our newsletters

Your daily 7am download of all things alternative finance and fintech.

Fintech and alternative finance headlines with an exclusive Editor's Note each week. Delivered Monday at midday.

AltFi's new weekly US newsletter breaking down the ins and outs of America's burgeoning fintech sector. Delivered Monday 9am EST/ 6am PST.