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ClearBank and Tide to help UK SMEs boost COVID-19 recovery with £25mn grant

By Megha Bhattacharya

September 23, 2020

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tide logoClearBank, in collaboration with Tide, has been awarded £25 million in a bid to assist UK SMEs to boost COVID-19 recovery and turn it into a growth opportunity. The new funding is expected to provide financial support and products for helping SMEs face challenges in the post-pandemic and post-Brexit economic environment. Both ClearBank and Tide will support the affected enterprises in meeting accelerated demand for digital services.

Charles McManus, Co-Founder and CEO of ClearBank, said, “… This grant will help us ensure SMEs not only survive this period but are able to seize the opportunities available and thrive in the long-term. By securing the additional funding from Pool E, we’ll be able to have even more of an impact, building on the agility and efficiency we have shown so far in our on-target Pool A delivery.

“By committing to integrate with at least 25 SME partners, we’re opening up opportunities for innovative businesses to provide valuable changemaking solutions. We believe these partnerships, combined with a number of powerful new tools, will further enable us to offer a truly compelling alternative to the high street banks.”

The grant is expected to enable businesses to establish initiatives such as leveraging Open Banking to remove friction, improving funding opportunities with access to debt and equity and help the SMEs become more digital via improving busines development and digital payments support.

ClearBank and Tide will be introducing request to pay, confirmation of payee and digital cheques. Tide is also expected to assist B2B members by creating and curating a digital member directory with public profiles to advertise services and by building a managed services network for accountants and payroll providers.

Oliver Prill, CEO of Tide, said, “Competition and choice in the business banking space is more important than ever and this grant will help us to address it urgently. Switching accounts is sticky, with old barriers remaining and the Government’s response to the coronavirus crisis reinforcing them.

“For example, repayments under the critical Bounce Back Loan Scheme will link millions of SMEs to the big five for many years. ClearBank’s world-class payments infrastructure combined with Tide’s unrivalled business banking platform mean that we can develop innovative ways to get around this, particularly by using Open Banking in the way it was intended. One immediate opportunity is for banks small and large, alternative lenders and commercial finance brokers to join the leading funding network we will be building.”

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