Top marks: Starling switched the most SME customers as part of the BCR’s Incentivised Switching Scheme

By Oliver Smith on Thursday 22 July 2021

Digital Banking

Also, Ebury has returned £7.5m from its previous BCR award.

Top marks: Starling switched the most SME customers as part of the BCR’s Incentivised Switching Scheme
Image source: Starling Bank.

After a six-month extension, Banking Competition Remedies Ltd (BCR) closed the Incentivised Switching Scheme (ISS) at the end of last month, and today published its results with Starling Bank as the big winner.

As a reminder, the ISS was launched in February 2019 to offer £275m worth of payouts for 120,000 business customers of the RBS subsidiary Williams & Glyn to switch to one of a dozen other business banks, including Starling Bank, Metro Bank and Santander.

Although the impact of Covid slowed the project, today Brendan Peilow, executive director at BCR with responsibility for ISS, said £251.54m has now been distributed and some 69,135 Williams & Glyn customers have switched.

Starling Bank has been the biggest beneficiary of the scheme, with 16,528 new customers joining the bank, earning Starling a £9.2m award for being the most switched-to bank.

Starling switchers alone were paid £37.03m for changing to the challenger bank, with Virgin Money in second place at 15,946 switchers.

“Over 50 per cent of all SMEs switching through CASS [the Current Account Switching Service] during the life of ISS have done so through this scheme,” said Peilow.

“The size of SMEs switching and the increased dowry on offer meant that the scheme has distributed the full BCA dowry fund available. Over £250m has gone directly to SMEs as a result of the dowries paid and the sector will further benefit from the awards that have been announced today.”

As well as the ISS update, the BCR also revealed that Ebury has become the latest Capability and Innovation Fund awardee to return its cash, with £7.5m handed back as trade finance group “changed their product and origination strategy”.

The extra cash will be combined with Onfido’s already-returned £5m to increase the size of the upcoming Pool F to £12.5m.

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