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NatWest’s small business bank Mettle hits 50k customers

After a surge in new startups launching over the pandemic, NatWest’s small business bank Mettle has hit 50k users.

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Andrew Ellis/Mettle.

Mettle,NatWest’s digital business account, has had a fivefold jump in users since the start of 2021.

The company said it reached 50,000 customers this week, driven by a surge in new startups that had launched during the pandemic. 

Built to serve the self-starters of the UK, the company describes its users as “side hustlers, freelancers and small businesses”.

Mettle does not have a clear breakdown between businesses started as a primary source of income, a hobby or a second job, but did see the most growth in construction-based services (which grew by 101 per cent), followed by accommodation and food services (94 per cent).

The company has also seen customer deposits increase by almost 600 per cent and has processed £2bn of customer transactions since January 2021.

“For a segment that has traditionally been underserved, Mettle is uniquely positioned to support this movement’s ever-changing needs by sitting at the intersection of retail and business banking,” newly appointed Mettle CEO Andrew Ellis said.

“It combines the innovative ways of working of a fintech with the backing and expertise of an established bank.”

Ellis, who is also head of digital assets at NatWest, became CEO of Mettle late last year after predecessor Marieke Flament left to join Swiss blockchain group NEAR foundation.

He explained that the company’s unique position with NatWest’s backing and “regulatory and financial know-how” allows them to put the customers’ needs first and focus on a market that is often seen as too expensive and too diverse to cater for.

Launched in 2018 as a competitor to digital challengers, it provides business accounts to sole traders and small companies, as well as tools for cash flow forecasting and invoicing.

Competitors Tide,Cashplus Bank and Starling currently have 400,000, 1.6 million and 2.7 million customers respectively.

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