BoE stress tests: all you need to know

The Bank of England has released the results of its latest round of its annual banking stress tests and its semi-annual financial stability report this morning. Used to measure the resilience of a bank’s balance sheet in adverse scenarios, the stress tests measured the impact of a severe slowdown in Chinese growth, a global recession […]

Continue Reading


Draghi: Eurozone will decline without vital productivity growth

It’s productivity, stupid. European Central Bank president Mario Draghi has become the latest major policymaker to warn of the long-term economic damage posed by chronically low productivity growth, as he urged eurozone governments to take action to lift growth and stoke innovation. Speaking in Madrid on Wednesday, Mr Draghi noted that productivity rises in the […]

Continue Reading


Asia markets tentative ahead of Opec meeting

Wednesday 2.30am GMT Overview Markets across Asia were treading cautiously on Wednesday, following mild overnight gains for Wall Street, a weakening of the US dollar and as investors turned their attention to a meeting between Opec members later today. What to watch Oil prices are in focus ahead of Wednesday’s Opec meeting in Vienna. The […]

Continue Reading

Banks, Financial

RBS emerges as biggest failure in tough UK bank stress tests

Royal Bank of Scotland has emerged as the biggest failure in the UK’s annual stress tests, forcing the state-controlled lender to present regulators with a new plan to bolster its capital position by at least £2bn. Barclays and Standard Chartered also failed to meet some of their minimum hurdles in the toughest stress scenario ever […]

Continue Reading


Barclays: life in the old dog yet

Barclays, a former basket case of British banking, is beginning to look inspiringly mediocre. The bank has failed Bank of England stress tests less resoundingly than Royal Bank of Scotland. Investors believe its assets are worth only 10 per cent less than their book value, judging from the share price. Although Barclays’s legal team have […]

Continue Reading

Categorized | Banks

Santander UK partners with Crowdfunder

Posted on October 4, 2016

FILE - In this Dec. 14, 2015 file picture people walk past a Santander bank, in New York. Spanish bank Santander has suffered a legal blow in its long-running row with a German rival over the use of the color red. Germany's Federal Court of Justice ruled Thursday July 21, 2016 that the country's publicly-owned Sparkassen are entitled to keep their trademark for a shade of red called HKS 13. Santander ‚Äî which uses the slightly darker HKS 14 ‚Äî has been trying for six years to get the German Patent and Trademark Office to delete its rivals' trademark. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan,file)©AP

Santander UK has struck a partnership with an alternative finance company to fund social enterprises in a deal that marks the first tie-up between a large British high-street bank and an equity crowdfunding site.

The bank is joining forces with Crowdfunder to provide £200,000 to community projects, charities and enterprises that are focused on social change across the UK.

    Santander will donate half the funding target of a project once it raises 50 per cent from the public online.

    The partnership further closes the gap between mainstream and alternative finance, and paves the way for closer collaboration between high-street lenders and the crowdfunding sector.

    The deal is the latest in a series of tie-ups that Santander has forged in the alternative finance and “fintech” space.

    The bank partnered with Funding Circle in 2014, to refer small business customers seeking loans to the peer-to-peer lender when the bank was unable to serve them.

    The deal with Crowdfunder is different from peer-to-peer platforms, which enable people to lend in return for interest. Equity crowdfunding raises money from the public who each gain a share in the company.

    In the case of Crowdfunder, investors can take a stake in a local project to gain a vote on how it is run, and might gain a small return, while Santander’s funding is a donation.

    Phil Geraghty, managing director of Crowdfunder, said the partnership “offers long-term economic impacts by supporting social enterprises alongside the immediate benefits of helping people make their great ideas happen”.

    The move by Santander to tie up with alternative finance platforms is part of a broader strategy to grow its SME business. The bank has entered talks with Royal Bank of Scotland over acquiring Williams & Glyn, the small business and retail-focused bank that RBS must divest as a condition of receiving a state bailout of £45bn in 2008.

    Sue Douthwaite, managing director of Santander Business Banking, said: “Our purpose is to help people and businesses prosper and we recognise the important role social enterprises and charities play in helping communities to thrive.

    “With the power of the crowd, our £200,000 Changemaker Fund will help bring great ideas to life and enable social enterprises and community ventures to grow.”

    Partnering with alternative finance platforms provides Santander with nimble technology to offer superior services to small business.

    Earlier this year, Santander tied up with US online lender Kabbage, as a way to provide funding to small businesses in a matter of hours. Kabbage, in which Santander invests through its fintech venture capital fund, speeds up the underwriting process so businesses can potentially access working capital of up to £100,000 online on the same day.