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Payments General

Starling, Metro Bank, Clearbank seize GBP 280 mln from RBS Competition Fund

Tuesday 26 February 2019 | 11:02 AM CET

Three UK challenger banks have received part of the GBP 280 mln first tranche of a fund set up by RBS in the wake of the bank\'s 2008 bailout.

Designed to increase competition in lending to small businesses, Metro Bank and Starling took the largest share of the fund, pocketing GBP 120 million and GBP 100 million respectively, while ClearBank picked up GBP 60 million.

Starling has announced it would make GBP 913 million of lending available to businesses customers by the end of 2023, and said it will launch an online portal for its 30,000 SME account holders by the end of 2019. Metro Bank meanwhile said it would use the funding to open more branches in the north of England.

The total value of the overall RBS fund is GBP 775 million and the GBP 280 million was the first and largest of three pools of funding aimed at small business lending—the remaining three pools still contain around GBP 145 million in total, and digital banks including Monzo are understood to be applying.

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