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Tide and ClearBank form SME banking partnership

Theo Osborn | 12:45 Tuesday 15th January 2019

Tide has announced that it has formed a partnership with ClearBank to offer a business banking service.

With Tide’s support, ClearBank has applied for a grant worth up to £120m from pool A of the capability and innovation fund that forms part of the RBS alternative remedies package.

The partnership will blend ClearBank’s payments infrastructure with Tide’s digital banking platform as it looks to offer a genuine alternative to the high street banks.

Oliver Prill, CEO at Tide (pictured above), said: “The RBS alternative remedies package is a golden opportunity to inject competition and innovation into the business banking market.

“Banks have traditionally viewed serving SMEs as a marginal and low-revenue activity, which is why they have terrible customer satisfaction ratings.

“Our customers love Tide because we are doing things differently, and a grant from pool A will allow us to go even further, faster, for UK SMEs.”

The partnership aims to use the funds to tackle barriers to change, including low awareness of alternative SME offerings and difficulties for firms in opening new business current accounts.

It also aims to offer a product which will incentivise small businesses to switch.

“Purely from a risk management perspective, it would be a mistake to give all the top prizes in the RBS alternative remedies package to high street banks to do ‘more of the same with’ and upgrade legacy systems,” added Oliver.

“As any investor knows, it’s important to diversify your portfolio and we are the only player with an exclusive focus on SMEs, a cutting-edge technology stack and no costly overheads like branches.”

Charles McManus, group CEO at ClearBank, concluded: “We are delighted to launch this strategic partnership with Tide, a company that shares our ambition to revolutionise banking services provided to the SME market.

“ClearBank is committed to improving SME outcomes in the UK by leveraging innovative partnerships with leading technology and financial services providers in accordance with our white label banking model.

“The agreement with Tide combines two world-class payment platforms providing an innovative and compelling client proposition [and] is further evidence of ClearBank delivering on this ambition, and is an example of how we can use our highly agile technology to build strategic business partnerships.”

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