NatWest Group to acquire a majority shareholding in UK fintech Cushon
NatWest Group has entered into an agreement to acquire a majority shareholding in Cushon, a workplace savings and pensions fintech.
Cushon’s primary products are its workplace ISA and master trust pension – which offers an investment strategy designed to drive down the financed CO2 emissions of customers’ investments. It also offers Junior and Lifetime ISAs, as well as a general investment account.
The intended acquisition will therefore provide NatWest Group with a workplace pensions and savings proposition, enabling the group to offer a new suite of financial wellbeing services to its commercial customers and, consequently, to their employees.
Completion of the intended acquisition, which will see NatWest Group acquire 85% of Cushon for £144 million – with 15% retained by Cushon management – remains subject to regulatory approval and is expected to occur later in 2023.
The Cushon proposition will initially be offered to NatWest Group’s commercial mid-market customers, through the bank’s relationship managers, following a successful pilot in 2022. Cushon will continue its organic growth ambitions in the Workplace Pensions and Savings market, in addition to distributing to NatWest commercial customers.
Alison Rose, Chief Executive Officer of NatWest Group, said, “By combining the scale, experience and expertise of NatWest Group with Cushon’s innovative workplace savings and pensions products, this acquisition allows us to enhance our services to commercial customers and support the financial wellbeing of their staff.
“Core to our Purpose-led strategy is supporting customers at every stage of their lives, and by entering this fast-growing market we are equipping ourselves with the tools to develop a proposition which responds to our customers’ changing needs whilst delivering value-driven sustainable growth and returns.”
Peter Flavel, Chief Executive of NatWest’s wealth businesses, said, “As a workplace savings disrupter, Cushon will help NatWest Group achieve its strategic, purpose-led vision of helping customers save for tomorrow. 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 CEO and Co-Founder Ben Pollard added, “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. Cushon’s cutting edge technology and socially responsible investment funds will allow even more UK savers to benefit from a convenient, great value way to save; and understand the positive impact their life-long savings can have on issues that matter, such as climate change.”