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Nationwide receives £50m grant for business banking

The board of the UK's Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) has announced the results of the Capability and Innovation Fund Pool B grant process. The fund is designed to promote competition in the market for banking services to SMEs in the UK through the modernisation of existing business current account offerings or the development of new business current accounts or ancillary product propositions for SMEs in the UK.

Nationwide Building Society is the big winner from Pool B, receiving an award of £50m. Additionally, both Investec Bank and the Co-operative Bank receive an award of £15m each.

BCR is an independent body established to implement the £775m Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) State Aid Alternative Remedies Package, under EU rules following the UK government's bail out of RBS in 2008.

Pool A grants, awarded in February, went to Metro Bank (£120m), Starling Bank (£100m) and ClearBank (£60m). Later this year BCR will announce the beneficiaries of Pool C, aimed at the expansion of business offerings to include, lending or payments services to SMEs, and Pool D, which facilitates the commercialisation of financial technology that is relevant to SMEs. 

BCR received a total of 13 applications from 10 applicants for the Pool B process during an application window of 1 February to 29 March 2019. 

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