SME fintech Cashplus secures full UK bank licence
- The established SME-focused digital challenger has been authorised as a bank with immediate effect and with no restrictions
- Founded in 2005, the UK’s newest bank has served more than 1.6m UK customers, produced consistent revenue growth since 2012 and holds c.£500m in deposits
- Cashplus provides current account and lending services for small businesses and consumers, currently serving 7% of all new UK businesses, and aims to lend £1bn to UK SMEs to support post-Covid recovery
3rd February 2021: Leading digital bank challenger Cashplus has been granted a full UK bank licence by the Prudential Regulation Authority with immediate effect.
As a bank, Cashplus can use part of its £500m of customer deposits for lending and aims to provide £1bn of credit to UK small businesses to support the UK’s post-Covid-19 recovery.
The firm, headquartered in London with operations in Liverpool and Birmingham, was founded in 2005 and has since served over 1.6m customers with banking and lending services aimed at UK small businesses and consumers who are typically underserved by traditional banks. The company generated c.£50m in revenues in 2020 and, in stark contrast with many other bank challengers, has recorded nine consecutive years of operating profit since 2012 while maintaining consistent revenue growth.
Founder and CEO Rich Wagner said: “Cashplus has reached this milestone at the moment when UK small businesses need us most. When we started out 15 years ago, we got first-hand experience of the pain that small businesses face when dealing with big banks.
"These same small companies will be crucial to the UK’s economic recovery and they will need a bank that takes them seriously, providing what they need to be successful. So, while big banks are slamming the door shut, we’ll be welcoming customers, opening up lending and delivering enhanced products to support them through the challenging months ahead.”
The firm also plans to attract existing business customers from competitor banks with innovative small business focused features, including payment tracking tools, significant savings on essential services such as payment processing - where it already offers savings of up to 50% over high street rivals through its Payment API product - and integration with all major accountancy platforms.
“We are manically focused on what customers really need. We don’t go in for gimmicks or flashy functionality for the sake of it. Instead, we look at simple, effective products with honest and transparent pricing. This discipline allows us to focus on the things that really matter, like having the data capabilities to underwrite new businesses that get turned away elsewhere. And, our no-exceptions commitment to sustainable products means that we are able to serve even the smallest businesses and provide what they need, say, a credit line as small as £500 for a laptop or some urgent supplies.” Wagner added.
Cashplus has taken a disciplined approach to growth since launch, with a focus on sustainable product economics that contrasts with the heavy-loss, subscription-free models often associated with neo banks and digital challengers. The company is also an established lender with total lending of over £640m and uses advanced data techniques to support its underwriting capabilities.
Rich Wagner said: “Where some firms have burned through piles of cash in the pursuit of growth at all costs, our disciplined approach and positive product economics mean that we can grow with confidence. Now we’re a bank, there is a tremendous amount of potential waiting to be unlocked.”
Cashplus currently serves 7% of all new UK businesses and, as company formations hit record monthly highs during the Covid-19 crisis, Cashplus expects to grow its share of this market to at least 10% within the next three years. To achieve this, the company will focus its product and customer service development around the needs of the 600k new companies registered in the UK each year and the 5.7m businesses with fewer than 10 employees.
Cashplus is a leading UK challenger bank with a 15-year track record of digital innovation, dedicated customer service and strong financial performance. A true fintech pioneer, we offer faster, smarter, simpler banking services for the entrepreneurs, independent businesses and consumers that power the UK economy, yet are too often overlooked by high street banks. Since 2005, we’ve created easier ways for more than 1.6m customers to pay, bank and borrow through our user-friendly digital platform, delivered a string of fintech firsts and built a sustainable, growing business providing more than 250 jobs in the UK with locations in London, Liverpool and Birmingham.
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