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Exclusive: Coconut files £5m BCR Pool E bid

CEO Sam O'Connor reveals Coconut as the 4th fintech to file a bid for part of Banking Competition Remedies £100m fund.

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Sam O'Connor (left)/Coconut.

Business banking platform Coconut has filed a bid as part of the BCR's £100m package of Pool E funding, AltFi can exclusively reveal.

The news comes as several applicants have broken cover in the last few days, including Funding Xchange and Starling Bank last week and Ezbob just this morning.

Coconut's bid went in at the end of last month as part of the application window for pots worth £2.5-5m, funding that CEO Sam O'Connor says would be used to further commercialise its accounting service offering.

Coconut is also nearing the end of its £700,000 crowdfunding campaign, which has so far raised more than £1.8m for the fintech.

“We’ve seen first-hand just how limited the financial services offering is for the UK’s 5.3m self-employed and micro-SMEs in the UK," said CEO and co-founder Sam O’Connor.

"Despite the growth of challenger banks, only 3% of businesses switch accounts each year and branch closures are reducing the relationship between banks and business owners. What’s more, 73% of small business owners say they only use their bank for transactions. In my view that has to shift.”

The BCR's Pool E pot is to redistribute £50m returned by both Metro Bank and Nationwide after the duo both failed to reach their earlier targets. The cash is being redeployed in 10 pots worth between £2.5m and £35m.

This morning Ezbob announced that it's also joining the race with a Pool E bid, but didn't share details on how much funding it is applying for and what it will be used for.

Starling Bank is filing two bids for pots worth £35m and £25m respectively, with CEO Anne Boden telling Yahoo Finance the cash would be used "for us to be competitive in new sectors of SMEs".

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