The Capability and Innovation Fund grant, administered by Banking Competition Remedies Limited (BCR), will be used to enhance the society’s plans to deliver a business banking proposition including unsecured loans, credit cards and saving.
It will also be used to develop a suite of associated products and services. These will include support with accountancy and cashflow and help with foreign payments.
The society hopes to attract an estimated 340,000 customers in the next five years, including 125,000 business current accounts switching to Nationwide. Up to a million of the society’s members are understood to own businesses. The society receives 50,000-plus enquiries each year looking for help with business banking needs.
Nationwide will provide specialist training for its 7,000 branch-based staff, as well as creating 400 job roles based throughout the UK.
Joe Garner, chief executive of Nationwide Building Society, said: “This is good news for small businesses. The fund gives unprecedented opportunity to accelerate plans and inject competition into this market. As a building society, we are in a unique position as the only mutual with the scale, trust and track record to offer a compelling alternative to the banks.
“While the money is a massive boost for our plan, we also aim to match every pound of the £50 million award with our own funding over a five-year plan. As a mutual organisation driven by our social purpose, it is important that business owners are given more choice to find an account which suits their needs and we look forward to delivering this proposition.”