Capability and Innovation Fund

The purpose of the Capability and Innovation Fund is to encourage eligible bodies to:

  1. develop and improve their capability to compete with RBS in the provision of banking services to SMEs; and
  2. develop and improve the financial products and services which are available to SMEs.

The Capability and Innovation Fund comprised a total of £425 million which was divided into four pools. BCR was responsible for evaluating the applications and disbursing the funds. All fifteen grants were awarded. BCR’s focus for these four pools is now on monitoring of delivery. How BCR monitors Capability and Innovation Fund awardees can be found here.

Two awardees, Metro Bank and Nationwide, recently each returned £50m to BCR after their own internal strategic reviews indicated a change in business direction.  On 30 April 2020, BCR announced the redeployment of £100 million of returned funds for distribution under the CIF scheme to support eligible bodies providing innovative financial services to UK SMEs. Information about the Capability and Innovation Fund Pool E can be found here.

For more information on how BCR make CIF decisions see here.

Pool A


To facilitate the development of more advanced business current account offerings and ancillary products for SMEs in the UK giving preference to beneficiaries with an established business current account offering.

Pool B


To facilitate 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.

Pool C


To facilitate the expansion of business offerings to include, lending or payments services to SMEs in the United Kingdom or international payments services to SMEs in the United Kingdom. 

Pool D


To facilitate the commercialisation of financial technology that is relevant to SMEs.

Number and value of grants:

£70 million – Metro Bank PLC*

£100 million – Starling Bank Limited

£60 million – ClearBank Ltd

*£50 million returned by Metro Bank PLC in February 2020

Number and value of grants:

£50 million*

£15 million – Investec Bank plc

£15 million – The Co-operative Bank

*£50 million returned by Nationwide Building Society in April 2020

Number and value of grants:

£10 million – Atom Bank PLC

£10 million – The Currency Cloud Group Ltd

£10 million – iwoca Ltd

£10 million – Modulr Finance Limited

Number and value of grants:

£5 million – Codat Limited

£5 million – Fluidly Limited

£5 million – Form3 Ltd

£5 million – Funding Options Limited

£5 million – Swoop Finance Limited

Public Commitments

To view all Public Commitments and Quarterly Updates, please see here

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