One of the UK’s foremost digital challenger banks has announced ambitious plans to pump investment into the nation’s small businesses. Cashplus, which launched in 2005, will begin a £400m programme of lending once it becomes a fully authorised bank in the first quarter of 2020. With some 250,000 customers including 75,000 small business accounts, Cashplus has built up deposits of half a billion pounds, which it will be able to draw upon as lending capital if its banking licence is approved. Chief executive Rich Wagner has said that his aim is to lend out to ‘overlooked SMEs’ and secure 10 per cent of all new UK business accounts by 2024 (currently Cashplus has a 7 per cent share).
Cashplus business accounts have proved popular with start-ups due to the streamlined application process with no credit checks. Business accounts with mainstream banks have around a 40 per cent refusal rate, due to the rigorous financial tests which many entrepreneurs struggle to pass. Another advantage is that business customers can conduct cash transactions at Post Office counters, removing the need for physical branches. Rich boasts that thanks to the 11,000 branches of the Post Office, Cashplus has a physical presence ‘bigger than all the high-street banks combined’. Read More here