Co-op Bank among organisations approved for Incentivised Switching Scheme

RBS has made available a £775m pot of cash to encourage SME customers to switch to rival banks

The Co-operative Bank will welcome SME customers switching from RBS to rival banks as part of the Incentivised Switching Scheme.

Last month, the Banking Competition Remedies, an independent body overseeing the scheme, announced the first 11 organisations meeting the eligibility criteria, including the Co-op Bank.

The scheme is made available by RBS to boost competition in small business banking agreed along with its restructuring plan following its bailout by the UK government in 2008.

As part of the scheme, the RBS allocated a £775m pot of cash to encourage SME customers to switch from RBS to rival banks.

Related: Co-operative Bank appoints new managing director for SME banking

Godfrey Cromwell, BCR’s chairman, said: “It’s very good news that a broad selection of organisations have stepped forward and made a diversity of offers right across the SME client-base.”

He added that the announcement marked an important milestone for incentivised switching. BCR is considering a second application window this spring.

“Customers will be the real decision-makers here. We look forward to getting through the contracting stage and seeing these offers made public so that customers can react. We anticipate that a further application round in Q2 2019 will widen the range of offers still further,” added Mr Cromwell.

Co-operative Bank commercial director Darrell Evans said: “We are delighted to have been selected – we believe our ethical brand and strong service culture will be attractive to many of the SME customers that are part of the scheme. We want to be a part of helping deliver greater competition in the market as a whole so this is great news for the Co-operative Bank.”

The Co-op Bank provides financial services to 90,000 SMEs, 700 co-operatives, 5,000 charities, and 279 credit unions. Since 2016, it has funded the Hive, a co-operative development programme run by Co-operatives UK, which provides business support for people looking to start or grow co-operative or community enterprises, using a mix of online resources, training and advice.

Formerly owned by the Co-op Group, the Bank has been a separate business for several years. As of January 2019. Co-op Bank customers have ceased to earn Co-op Group points from Bank products.

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