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Onfido returns £5 million grant to business banking bailout fund

Onfido returns £5 million grant to business banking bailout fund

Onfido has paid back a £5 million grant to the Banking Competition Remedies fund after deciding to focus on its core identity verification business.

Onfido was one of the Pool E grant recipients of the RBS bail out fund in August last year. The cash grants are being handed out in an effort to boost competition in the small business banking market.

Onfido, which last year picked up a £100 million equity investment led by TPG Growth Partner, has just reported record growth figures for its core ID verification services in 2020.

The £5 million award from the BCR was intended to push the company into the Know your Business market.

In an update on the performance of Pool E grant recipients, the BCR states: "Onfido has undertaken a strategic review of its business, and as part of this process, decided to return its £5m award to BCR."

The £5m returned will be allocated to the Capability and Innovation Fund (CIF) and held in trust until later deployment.

The body says other awardees - Virgin Money, ClearBank, Ebury, MarketFinance, Funding Xchange, Codat, ezbob, Fractal Labs, and Previse - are pressing ahead with their commitments.

Aidene Walsh, CIF lead director comments: “Since being awarded the CIF funds last year, the Pool E awardees are mobilising well and a number have already delivered valuable SME functionality. We have a proven process built into the Alternative Remedies Package to successfully manage the return of funds and we will now look to redeploy £5m to potential applicants who can deliver choice and effective solutions to SMEs.”

Other companies to have bailed on their commitments in the past include Nationwide and Metro Bank, who collectively returned £100 million in grant money last year.

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