U.K. challenger bank Metro Bank has announced partnerships with three different FinTechs to strengthen its small and medium-sized business offerings.
In an announcement on Metro Bank's website, the bank said it is collaborating with Funding Options, Conance and DueDil.
Its integration with Funding Options will allow small businesses to seamlessly compare financing options from a range of more than 70 business lenders, bridging SMBs to lending alternatives should Metro Bank reject their bank loan application.
The FI's work with Conance will allow small businesses to access specialized trading and finance solutions, while its partnership with DueDil, which will go live next year, will support a faster account opening process. Metro Bank will deploy DueDil's due diligence solutions to more quickly assess small business applicants, the bank noted.
In a statement, Metro Bank Chief Commercial Officer Paul Riseborough said the FI is "focused on collaborating with the most innovative partners in order to give our SME customers the edge in today's competitive market."
Funding Options CEO Simon Cureton said that collaborating with Metro Bank "will allow us to support even more business owners to grow their business and achieve their goals. This is a great example of the banks and FinTechs working together for the benefit of customers."
Metro Bank also said in its announcement that the trio of FinTech partnerships is made possible by £120 million in funding it secured from the Capability & Innovation Fund, as well as the bank's own investments in new offerings designed to strengthen competition in the U.K. small business banking market.
The partnerships also come on the heels of reports that Metro Bank's Founder Vernon Hill will depart the bank completely amid the ongoing fallout from an accounting scandal at the bank. Hill had previously stepped down as chairman of the bank, but resisted resigning from the board of directors. Earlier this month, he revealed he would do just that, while retaining a 3.6 percent stake in the company.