CompaniesFeb 14 2023

NatWest buys 85% stake in pensions fintech Cushon

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NatWest buys 85% stake in pensions fintech Cushon
Pexels/Alaur Rahman
BySonia Rach

NatWest Group has agreed to acquire an 85 per cent shareholding in workplace savings and pensions fintech Cushon, subject to regulatory approval.

In an update yesterday (February 13), the group said 15 per cent will be retained by Cushon management.

NatWest said this agreement will provide its first opportunity to offer commercial customers and their employees a suite of financial wellbeing products.

The intended acquisition follows a number of financial wellbeing-focused services that NatWest Group has recently introduced, such as Rooster Money, to help support greater financial resilience.

Peter Flavel, chief executive of NatWest Wealth Businesses, said: “Cushon’s disruptive proposition will help NatWest Group achieve its strategic, purpose-led vision of helping customers save for the future and manage their financial wellbeing. 

“On average, UK employees are due to outlive their savings by 10 years and we are committed to helping reduce this savings gap.

“We believe Cushon’s engaging, app-first pension will help customers by moving their pension and workplace savings schemes from a compliance burden to an employee benefit.”

Cushon is a London-based fintech which looks to improve people’s financial futures through healthier savings habits. 

It offers a holistic workplace pension and savings app with a carbon neutral default fund for UK employers.

The master trust workplace pension and other workplace savings, such as ISAs, will work alongside the proposition which NatWest Group currently offers.

It will also include a variety of tailored borrowing and financing options to help businesses grow – such as small business loans, business overdrafts, business credit cards, asset finance and invoice finance.

Ben Pollard, CEO and co-founder of Cushon, said: “This is the next exciting chapter for a great British fintech as we join forces with a great British bank. 

“Becoming part of NatWest Group will accelerate our plans for further technology-led innovation to improve the UK's financial wellbeing. 

“Together, we look forward to driving more positive change in workplace savings and pensions.”

Pollard said Cushon’s technology and socially responsible investment funds will allow even more UK savers to benefit and understand the positive impact their savings can have on issues such as climate change.

The master trust workplace pension offers an investment strategy designed to drive down the financed CO2 emissions of customers. 

Its focus on sustainability and social impact – with pensions investments directly in windfarms, solar, green hydrogen, social housing – is also designed to increase employee engagement by aligning with issues employees care about. 

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