Barclays has announced a partnership with Smart Pension, one of the UK’s online pension providers. The bank’s UK wide network of 1,100 business relationship managers will introduce their business banking clients to Smart Pension via the Barclays website, where they will be able to follow a link to sign up, within a matter of minutes.
Businesses that sign up through Barclays will be able to offer their employees access to the bank’s proprietary Global Market Funds, which invest in a broad range of asset classes and are managed by the same team of investment experts that look after the bank’s Wealth clients.
Once signed up, Smart Pension offers an online portal for both the employer and employee, so that individuals can easily manage their participation in the scheme. The portal can be integrated with other administrative programmes such as payroll, admin, reporting and compliance capabilities.
Last year, the bank took a minority stake in retirement technology provider, Smart, as part of its Series C fundraising round to support its global growth, which includes entry into the US market.
Jamie Fiveash, UK CEO at Smart, said: “This is an important milestone for us as a business. Not only do we get to offer Barclays customers a simple pension solution to ensure small businesses meet their auto-enrolment obligations, but we also have the privilege of calling them our partner through the strategic investment made. We are excited to see what the future holds for both of us but more importantly we are excited to deliver the opportunity of a successful retirement for all participants.”
The collaboration is the latest in a series of strategic fintech partnerships announced by Barclays over the last few years, with MarketFinance, Nimbla and Propel offering invoice financing, insurance products and asset finance to thousands of Barclays Business Banking clients.
Hannah Bernard, Head of Barclays Business Banking, said: “For many busy small business owners, getting to grips with pensions can seem daunting, particularly when they’re juggling a long list of competing business priorities.
“We hope this partnership with Smart Pension will save many of our customers’ time, and take the stress out of the process. Offering a great pension scheme can help attract and retain talent, and support the growth of your business.”
Barclays has a package of support available for SMEs to help them recover from the coronavirus pandemic. The bank has so far lent over £12 billion through the Government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) to over 330,000 businesses across the UK.