Capability and Innovation Fund - Pool E


The Alternative Remedies Package (ARP) that BCR is delivering includes in its process an ability for awardees to revise their original business cases, subject to the approval of the BCR Board. Two awardees, Metro Bank and Nationwide, recently each returned £50m to BCR after their own internal strategic reviews indicated a change in business direction. Consequently, BCR now has £100m CIF funding available (referred to as ‘Pool E’) for distribution under the Capability and Innovation Fund (CIF) scheme to support eligible bodies providing innovative financial services to UK SMEs.

BCR has agreed with the HM Treasury (HMT) and RBS to bring the process for redeploying the funds forward to support the UK SME market as soon as it is feasible. This page contains information on how to apply for grants in Pool E. 


A consultation this month with potential applicants to gather their views on the sizes of grants under Pool E contacted 238 organisations directly, while also publicising via relevant industry trade bodies, associations and the media, received some 100 responses. 

Responses for Pool D bodies (total £20m available) were consistently in favour of grants in the £2.5m-£5m range. Responses from Pool A, B and C bodies (total £80m available) show larger challengers advocating awards above £20m and smaller challengers advocating awards £20m or less. Taking into consideration these responses, the BCR board has now decided on the grant sizes available under Pool E and these are shown below.

To read a summary of the feedback that BCR received from this consultation, please click here.

Pool E

Pool E - Application Period One


D Bodies

Eligibility criteria can be found here.

Application Period One is now closed. 

Pool E - Application Period Two


A, B and C Bodies

Eligibility criteria can be found here.

Application Period Two is now closed. 


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

Purpose (Pool A Bodies):

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.

Purpose (Pool B Bodies):

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.

Purpose (Pool C Bodies):

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. 

Number and value of grants: 

2 x £5m

4 x £2.5m

Number and value of grants: 

1 x £35m

1 x £25m 

2 x £10m

For more information on how BCR makes CIF decisions, see here.


Please note that Application Periods One and Two have now closed. 

We will run an initial application period within Pool E for Pool D Bodies, followed in quick succession by one for A, B and C Bodies. The key dates and information about the application process can be found below.

Keep up to date with BCR press releases and new content on the website (info here)

Review the updated documents for Pool E (see below)

Pre-register for the CIF Data Room (info here)

Review the application documents for Pool E (D Bodies and ABC Bodies

Raise queries about the scheme and your application if needed (info here)

Understand how to submit an application (info here).

Submit application via the CIF Data Room 

If successful, enter CIF Agreement (here)

Submit first report.

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