How are big banks’ UK challenger brands faring in 2021?
A mid-year performance review of Tyl, Kinetic, Mettle and PagoFX.
With results season nearly behind us, it’s a great time to dive into the financial returns of the UK’s biggest banks, to unpick how well their fintech challenger brands are faring.
Note: We’re just focusing on those brands primarily operating in the UK for this article.
Tyl by NatWest
The bank’s results came out last week covering the period to 30 June and stated Tyl “continues to gain traction and has processed transactions worth over £1bn since inception”.
Impressive, and even more so as just six months ago NatWest said Tyl had processed “in excess of £0.5bn and c.15m transactions since inception” for the period to 4 January.
That growth implies Tyl is processed around £500m worth of transactions during the first half of 2021 alone and could be operating at a £1bn/year run-rate, not bad for a barely two-year-old business.
Kinetic by HSBC
Luckily the banking giant did offer an update on its performance last week and, despite launching in the midst of a pandemic, Kinetic is certainly living up to its name.
HSBC reported that more than 10,000 UK businesses have signed up, as of 30 June, “benefiting from online onboarding in 15 minutes, the ability to apply for lending products with instant lending decisions, and a number of critical insight capabilities.”
Again, if we compare this to the figures HSBC published in its Q1 results, as of 31 March Kinetic had “c.6k users”.
That’s a quarterly add of around 4,000 SMEs, a famously tricky to win over group, not bad going for HSBC.
Mettle by NatWest and PagoFX by Santander
AltFi understands that Mettle’s SME customer numbers have increased 152 per cent between H1 2021 and H2 2020, although this is obviously coming from a low base.
It's similarly hard to figure out the performance of PagoFX by Santander, the Wise alternative that was launched last year by the bank. PagoFX is included in the Spanish bank's larger PagoNxt division for the purposes of its results, making it impossible to unpick its performance.
It’s not surprising that the performance of Mettle and PagoFX isn’t yet disclosed in these banks’ results, these challenger brands are hardly part of the banks’ core businesses and investors aren’t exactly calling out for updates.
Still, AltFi reached out to Santander for an update on PagoFX’s performance specifically, but the bank declined to offer any figures.