Banking Competition Remedies (BCR), the independent body established to implement £775m RBS funding known as the State Aid Alternative Funding Package, has appointed an executive director and targeted November for applications from UK challenger banks for the RBS funding.

BCR said it had “achieved operational readiness” by adding the third and final member of its executive leadership team; and set a revised timeline for applications for the two investment pools: ‘Capability & Innovation Fund Pool A’ and the ‘Incentivised Switching Scheme’, both opening in November.

Originally the RBS funding process was to begin in the summer but the extra time taken for the executive appointments and performing due diligence pushed the timelines back, said BCR.

Aidene Walsh has been appointed as executive director. Walsh is the former chief executive of The Fairbanking Foundation and has over 26 years’ experience in commercial banking at Citigroup, ABN Amro, RBS and Lloyds, leading various international and UK payments and customer businesses.

Walsh joins executive chair Godfrey Cromwell and executive director Brendan Peilow. Non-executive directors will be appointed in due course.

“Since the appointment of the two existing board members at the end of April 2018, there has been an intense period of set-up, due diligence, recruitment of third director and staff, as well as RFI/RFP activity and establishment of written policies, along with financial, reporting and administrative processes,” said BCR.

With the staff team joining over the coming months, BCR is now ready to oversee the package of measures designed to enhance competition in the UK SME banking market.

This timeline updates that announced by the European Commission and RBS on 18 September 2017. It reflects the later than anticipated (April 2018) appointment of the two current directors of BCR and the knock-on effects arising, said BCR.

  • Applications for the Capability & Innovation Fund Pool A will open on 01 November 2018, close on 31 December 2018 with the awards announced in February 2019
  • Applications for the Incentivised Switching Scheme will open on 05 November 2018 and close on 30 November 2018. BCR and RBS will work with successful applicants with the intention of RBS launching the offers to its eligible former Williams & Glyn’s customers on the same date that Capability & Innovation Fund Pool A awards are announced, in February 2019

The application process remains unchanged.

The purpose of the awards and the criteria for Eligible Bodies (as defined) that may apply for both the various tranches of the Capability & Innovation Fund and the dowries for Incentivised Switching are not subject to change and are outlined on the Government website*.

A market event for Eligible Bodies – organisations that qualify to apply for the Incentivised Switching Scheme and Capability & Innovation Fund Pools A, B and C – is planned for late September and more details will be provided in the second half of August. The event will explain the mechanics of how to apply and provide a forum for Eligible Bodies to ask questions.

Godfrey Cromwell, executive chair of BCR, said: “We have been working collaboratively with stakeholders to ensure that the company is put on its feet successfully and appropriate due diligence applied – vital on an innovative project like this and where large sums of money are being disbursed.”