Every Wednesday, we delve into the latest fintech updates from across the UK. This week brings updates from Natwest, Cheddar, Aviva and British Business Bank.
NatWest to give fathers a year’s paternity leave
From January 2023, NatWest will offer one year of paternity leave to male bankers when they become a father.
Its new ‘Partner Leave’ policies are open to same-sex parents as well as heterosexual parents and will replace its existing policies at the beginning of 2023 in the UK, Guernsey, Jersey, Gibraltar, Republic of Ireland, India and Poland. The new support will be applicable whether the child has arrived through natural birth, surrogacy or adoption.
Alison Rose, CEO of NatWest said: “We want to do more to help families thrive. The introduction of Partner Leave will make it possible for colleagues to spend more time supporting their partners who have given birth, had a child born through surrogacy or had a child placed through adoption.
“Not only is this good for families, it also helps support wider cultural change by promoting a shared approach to childcare responsibilities early on.”
Cheddar launches new cashback offering
Payments and rewards platform Cheddar has launched its newest cashback offering. The offering will see customers receive cash that is paid straight back into their accounts after they spend with partnered retailers.
The offering currently has a range of partners on board including Ocado, Joe & The Juice and Sports Direct. This will allow customers to receive up to 50 per cent cashback when making purchases from these retailers both in store and online.
Luke Ladyman, chief operating officer and co-founder at Cheddar commented: “As the UK economy heads deeper into recession with inflation soaring to record highs not seen in 40 years, consumers’ shopping and spending habits are changing. At Cheddar it’s important to us, now more than ever, to make everyday spending as easy as possible and our new cashback feature will help our users save money effortlessly while they spend during these challenging times.”
Female entrepreneur fund receives significant investment
UK insurer Aviva has invested around $10million into the Anthemis Female Innovators Lab Fund.
The fund, which was founded in September 2019, supports female entrepreneurs in the fintech industry across the UK, Europe, Canada and the US. Aviva’s investment will specifically support UK-based fintech firms which are founded by women and will see Aviva become a strategic partner to the fund.
Ben Luckett, chief innovation officer at Aviva, said: “Female entrepreneurs currently lead just four per cent of UK tech startups and this needs to change. The Female Innovators Fund is one way we can support this untapped talent. Working with the Fund means more than just a financial contribution, we will have opportunities to partner with, learn from and invest directly in start-ups where they may benefit Aviva and our customers.”
UK branch becomes subsidiary of Silicon Valley Bank
SVB Financial Group’s (SVB) UK branch has become a wholly owned subsidiary of Silicon Valley Bank, which it is the parent company of.
The move follows the UK branch’s significant recent success. Silicon Valley Bank UK Limited is due to be led by CEO Erin Platts, formerly SVB’s head of EMEA and president of the UK branch.
Greg Becker, CEO of SVB said: “At SVB, we have witnessed significant growth of the innovation economy in the UK over the past decade. Accordingly, SVB has also experienced outstanding growth in the UK leading to the transition to a subsidiary business based on our size.”
British Business Bank exceeds targets
The state-owned British Business Bank now supports over 96,000 smaller businesses with £12.2billion of finance through its core programmes.
The economic development saw it exceed the number of targets set over the last year in a number of key areas including increasing the supply of finance to smaller businesses; encouraging and enabling SMEs to seek the finance best suited to their needs and achieving its other objectives while managing taxpayers’ money efficiently.
Catherine Lewis La Torre, CEO of British Business Bank said: “The British Business Bank has successfully delivered against the strategic priorities we set at the beginning of the year. We have increased our impact and market reach to smaller businesses across the UK’s regions and Nations and designed innovative programmes while at the same time generating an attractive return on capital employed.
“We have also made good progress on embedding our revised mission, with sustainable growth at its core, into everything we do.”
TakeOff readying to launch app
TakeOff, the London-based fintech aimed at supporting underserved communities, has officially opened its waitlist for a financial services app. It is set to launch in spring 2023 in the UK and Europe.
The app aims to help underserved people and the next generation of workers reach their financial goals by delivering affordable financial products and services that meet their individual needs.
It aims to do this in a responsible and sustainable way.