Cynergy Bank has submitted an application for a £10m grant from Pool B of the Banking Competition Remedies (BCR), the scheme set up to foster competition in UK banking as part of RBS’s response to EU state aid requirements. The funds will accelerate and broaden Cynergy Bank’s programme to enhance its SME customer proposition and grow the number of businesses it can support.
If the funding application is successful, Cynergy Bank will create the UK’s first digital relationship bank for this vital and underserved section of the economy. Cynergy Bank will develop a Business Current Account with ancillary products and services to support a much-neglected section of the market – SMEs with the ambition to ‘scale-up’, as well as the capability and capacity to grow.
The UK comes third in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) start-up index but ranks just thirteenth when it comes to scale-ups. Yet, scale-ups make a disproportionate contribution to the UK economy. The ScaleUp Institute reports that the 5.7m UK SME businesses generate £1.9 trillion turnover for the UK economy. By contrast, the 36,510 scale-ups (as defined by the Institute1) contribute £1.3 trillion of this total.
Commenting on the bid, Nick Fahy, CEO of Cynergy Bank said:
“Scale-up SMEs are underserved by UK banks. They don’t receive the right mix of products and relationships to overcome barriers to growth. They fall between the cracks of the traditional banking models, too complex for the faceless retail division – too small for the mid-corporate relationship model; and they cannot have a meaningful relationship with digital banks which are app-based and serve the micro and smaller business community.
“We will offer the face-to-face relationship that is so valued by scale-ups, coupled with market leading digital technology that will free up their time by automating more standard banking services.”
Nick Fahy continues: “This gap in the banking market could be exposed in the post-Covid-19 reinvigoration of the economy. Ambitious scale-up enterprises will be vital for growth and job creation and we want to support them, removing the barriers that can dampen their ambition.”
“We hope the BCR will support this vital part of the economy at this crucial time, by helping Cynergy Bank to deliver the digital relationship bank that scale-up businesses need. Focussing the grants on banks whose plans are to grow their market share of micro and small businesses won’t help the recovery.”
“We firmly believe there is a middle ground for SME banking – one that isn’t the faceless retail banks; nor the purely app-based solutions. Technology should not replace human relationships. Rather, investment in technology should be used to deliver exceptional service via human beings.”
Cynergy Bank is committed to this market and its plans to support scale-ups. The BCR grant will help it expand on its plans and deliver them earlier.
Cynergy Bank will invest £2 of its own funds for every £1 it receives from Capability and Innovation Fund to the end of 2022 to build a sustainable and exciting long-term SME proposition for its addressable market.