Mettle, the NatWest-backed digital business account, has seen 500% customer growth since the start of 2021, reaching a milestone of 50,000 side hustlers, freelancers and small businesses in the UK.
This hike correlates with the rise in people taking the leap to turn their passion into a business in recent years, according to Companies House data.
Despite challenges for these small businesses, Mettle – which was built to serve the self-starters of the UK – has also seen customer deposits increase by almost 600%, and has processed £2bn worth of customer transactions through the platform since January 2021, showing strong growth in the sector.
Sectors where Mettle saw the most growth in the past year include construction-based services, with 101% growth in accounts opening, followed by accommodation and food services, accounts relating to the cleaning of buildings, and education services.
As well as enabling individual success and autonomy, the growing UK “passion economy” – made up of five million side hustlers, contractors, freelancers and small businesses – was predicted to contribute an estimated £125 billion to the UK’s economic recovery in 2021, with 50% of the UK population predicted to have a side gig by 2030.
Newly appointed CEO of Mettle, Andy Ellis commented: “For a segment that has traditionally been underserved, Mettle is uniquely positioned to support this movement’s ever-changing needs by sitting at the intersection of retail and business banking. It combines the innovative ways of working of a fintech with the backing and expertise of an established bank.
Hitting this customer milestone is a testament to how active this segment of the market is. Traditionally, smaller businesses and side hustlers have been too expensive to service and their needs too diverse. Our unique position being backed by NatWest’s regulatory and financial know-how gives us the space to focus on putting our customers’ needs first.”
In line with this growth trajectory, Mettle’s headcount has more than doubled in the past year as the company progresses from start-up to scaleup. Andy is set to use his extensive experience in financial services and with NatWest Group, to ensure Mettle continues to support and champion the UK’s self-starters.
Mettle provides a free and intuitive business banking app that allows customers to manage their business finances through a variety of product features – all from their phone. It has an agile, customer-first approach to product development allowing it to deliver features that customers need most. This has led to an inclusive and loved product, as seen through its 4.6 Trustpilot and 4.8 Play Store and App Store ratings.