Wednesday 3 February 2021 11:18 am

Regulator grants challenger lender Cashplus a full banking licence

Digital challenger bank Cashplus has become the latest London-based fintech to secure a full UK banking licence. 

Following the Prudential Regulation Authority’s approval, Cashplus is the UK’s newest licensed bank despite being founded in 2005 and serving more than 1.6m small business customers. 

Like its digital peers, Cashplus offers current accounts for UK SMEs, currently serving seven per cent of all new businesses, alongside a growing pool of retail accounts. 

Cashplus is aiming to lend up to £1bn to SMEs unable to access loans from the high street banks amid the economic recovery. 

Read more: Santander records biggest loss ever as pandemic bites and profits plunge

“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,” chief executive Rich Wagner said. 

It also plans to attract existing customers from competitor banks with products like payment tracking tools and integration with accountancy platforms. 

Cashplus’ slower approach is in stark contrast to neobanks like Revolut, which is currently looking for a full licence according to Sifted. 

“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,” Wagner said. 

The fintech recorded £50m in revenues in 2020 and unlike competitors has recorded nine consecutive years of operating profit. 

“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,” Wagner added. “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.”

Read more: Surge in pandemic data demand pushes up Vodafone revenues