Exclusive: Cashplus enters the running with £35m BCR bid to rival Tide and Starling Bank

By Oliver Smith on Wednesday 5 August 2020

Digital Banking

The 10th Pool E bidder to reveal themselves, as CEO Rich Wagner says the lender is "uniquely qualified to deliver".

Exclusive: Cashplus enters the running with £35m BCR bid to rival Tide and Starling Bank
Image source: Rich Wagner/Cashplus.

Business credit card provider Cashplus is in the running for both the £25m and £35m grants available from the Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) Pool E fund, AltFi can exclusively reveal.

News of the bid comes a day after Tide and ClearBank revealed their joint bid for the same grants, and after the deadline for bids closed on Friday evening.

“We feel confident in going up against larger, high street players for these £35 and £25m grants because we know we are uniquely qualified to deliver,” said Cashplus CEO Rich Wagner.

“We’ve already proven that we can drive real competition by capturing 7% share of all new UK business accounts and forcing complacent incumbent banks to compete with fairer pricing and now we want to use our specialist expertise to deliver fast, practical solutions designed to help small businesses as they drive the UK’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 crisis.”

AltFi understands that Cashplus is looking to use the grant funding for the development of new credit products, including a new credit card, and the expansion of its payments API for small businesses.

Cashplus recently celebrated a 1m transaction milestone for its payments API, and in the final stages of acquiring a banking licence which will transform the business into one of the largest SME banks with over 1.6m customer accounts.

Entering a Pool E bid also puts Cashplus up against Starling Bank, which was the first fintech to announce a larger £25-£35m BCR bid.

Pool E is the long-awaited solution to the BCR’s dilemma of what to do with the £50m returned by both Nationwide and Metro Bank earlier this year after both admitting they would be unable to deliver on earlier commitments. 

The Pool consists of two £5m and four £2.5m grants in Round 1, awardees of which will be announced during the week of 17 August, and Round 2 with one £35m grant, one £25m grant and two £10m grants, with awardees being announced during the week of 21 September.

So far no bidders have revealed themselves for the £10m grants, however several companies including Ezbob, Funding Xchange and Trade Ledger and Equifax have declined to disclose which grants they’re applying for. 

Here are the 10 current public applications as they stand:  

Bidding for larger grants (£10-35m)

Bidding for smaller grants (£2.5-5m)

Bidding, but unclear for which grant size

Know of any other BCR Pool E bids? Let us know.

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